When you think of winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow more freely, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside can worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems early, while they're still simpler to correct. This also burns away any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!