When you think of winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't want 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 rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped 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 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 make sure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from an air 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 a key component it can accumulate 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 hear any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Check for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at James Heating & A/C, Inc about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small crack 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 heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your furnace might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also removes any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!