When you imagine winter, we hope you think about 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 end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment 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 ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over 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, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow smoothly, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Bell Air Conditioning Inc about inspecting the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your heating may be unprepared for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to detect potential problems right away, while they're still easier to resolve. This also burns off any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, 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 take the time to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!