When you think about winter, you hopefully think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search 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 play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once 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 heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace ready 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. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!