When you imagine winter, we hope you imagine a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to keep a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to make sure 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 recommended to ensure it's covered by a bit 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 check and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace could lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow easily, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every couple of months or based on manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you notice any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to check 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Myers Furnace Company about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a minor crack in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical 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. Doing a test run of your furnace can give you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, 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 heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!