When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening at home. But sometimes 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 poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally placed 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 might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every few months or in line with 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 now and then 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 hear any odd noises or are not 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could worsen all manners of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace 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 HVAC system might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also burns off any dust that may have gathered in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. When 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 will be on the way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!