When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants 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. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a section of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow easily, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you notice any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, consult your local technician at Jett's Heating & Air Inc. about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating could be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can give you the opportunity to discover potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to correct. This also burns away any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working shape, 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 prepped beforehand, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!