When you think of winter, ideally you think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty 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 Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
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 clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's protected by a piece 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 contaminants can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or are not 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 can worsen all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to notice potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns off any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once 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 should be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having 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!