When you imagine winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared 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 discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Wash or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any odd noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out 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 damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Scott Temperature about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also burns off any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working shape, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained 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 all winter enjoying the holidays, having 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!