When you think of winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while 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 keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared 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 release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of 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 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 rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at J.L. Brady Company LLC about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also eliminates any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking 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!