When you think of winter, you hopefully think about a cozy evening at home. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared 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 a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean 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 clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly collect in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or based on 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 on occasion will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check 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 could worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Phelps Heating & Cooling, Inc. about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your furnace could be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to detect potential problems early, while they're still simpler to correct. This also eliminates any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all 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!