When you think of winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a faulty furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release 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 vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables 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 replace it every few months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get 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 has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or flaws in the condenser unit outside could worsen all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, speak with your local technician at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system may be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also burns away any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be on the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season 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 ready for next winter!