When you think about winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening in your warm home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up 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 unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers 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 Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area close to the unit itself is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also recommended to make sure it's protected by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can gradually collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace could 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 secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or exchange it every two or three months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any odd noises or can't get 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 has no visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside may contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling about examining the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating may be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns away any dust that might have piled up in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from any HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained 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 prepared beforehand, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!