When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening at home. But once in a while 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 stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually accumulate 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 smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace 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 essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Forster Heating about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns away any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as 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 heading this 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, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!