When you think about winter, you hopefully think of a comfortable 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 may not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside can contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Kilbourne Heating & AC about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. 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 heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your heating might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also removes any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing that burnt smell. When 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 should be heading this 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 relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!