When you think about winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But sometimes 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 keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient 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 two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all manners of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Stanford Heating & Cooling about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns off any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking 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 prepared for next winter!