When you imagine winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening at home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure 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 recommended to ensure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace 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 healthy. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every few months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush 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 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at GV Heating & Air about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. If not, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also removes any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!