When you imagine winter, ideally you think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap 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 ensure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally placed 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 goes unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!