When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up 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 nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every two or three 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 attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Forster Heating about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small crack 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 heating or cooling 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 furnace can offer you the opportunity to discover potential problems early, while they're still simpler to correct. This also removes 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 your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!