When you imagine winter, we hope you think of a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody likes 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 Winter
1. Cover 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 see to it that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or objects. It's also recommended to make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally placed 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 HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out 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 manners 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 Phelps Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can provide the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!