When you imagine winter, we hope you think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes 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 prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody wants 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 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 close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy 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 essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key 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 near the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get 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 play a role in all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Gilray Heating and Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still simpler to correct. This also burns away any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When 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 is going to be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having 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 prepped for next winter!