When you think of winter, we hope you think of a comfy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside can play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Forster Heating about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to resolve. This also burns away any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, removing 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 will be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having 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!