When you imagine winter, we hope you think of a comfy 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 might not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure that the area close to the unit itself is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally located 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 grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate 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 rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Look 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Fairfield Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your HVAC system may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can offer you the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also removes any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. When 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 make an effort to get your furnace ready ahead of time, 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 prepped for next winter!