When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also smart to ensure it's protected by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or according to 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 maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine your blower.
4. Search 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 damage to the condenser unit outside can contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Pepper AC & Htg Inc about examining the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating might be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to notice potential problems early, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns off any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!