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 won't always be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract 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 brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside may contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace could be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to correct. 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 shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared 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 prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!