When you imagine winter, ideally you imagine a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty 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 up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at Kilbourne Heating & AC about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small gap 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 furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems early, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also removes any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!