When you think of winter, ideally you think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
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 free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through 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 located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared 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 beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!