When you think of winter, we hope you think about a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
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 ensure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material through 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, normally 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 goes unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or exchange 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 a key component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and clean 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, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look 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 contribute to all manners of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Schraer Heating & Air Conditioning about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. 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 smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before the middle of winter. If not, your heating could be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns off any dust that may have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, 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 ready in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!