When you imagine winter, ideally you imagine a comfortable evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable 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 up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly build up in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or replace 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 integral component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace is free of visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Northglenn Heating & Air Conditioning about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. If you don't, your furnace might be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to correct. This also removes any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Prepared Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather is going to be on the way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!