When you imagine winter, we hope you imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge 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 vegetation or rocks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside may worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at ACS Heating and Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns off any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!