When you think of winter, you hopefully think of a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped 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 Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Look 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 may worsen all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Allstar Heating & Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!