When you imagine winter, you hopefully think of a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover 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 make sure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's protected 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 inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of 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 attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Brandon Heating and Plumbing about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. 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 smart to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your HVAC system could be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to recognize potential problems right away, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once 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 should be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking 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!