When you imagine winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants 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 a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel 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 leaves or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, usually found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate 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 optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or aren't getting 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 doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside may worsen all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at B & B Heating & Cooling about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace could be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still easier to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained 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 ready in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!