When you think of winter, ideally you think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange 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 integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Check 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 could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Kirkfield Heating & Air Conditioning about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to recognize potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!