When you think about winter, we hope you think about a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we created this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to see to it 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 a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a piece 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 contaminants can slowly collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or based on 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 now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace could be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can provide the chance to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to fix. This also burns away any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as 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 should be on its way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!