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're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from blowing 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 created 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 Clean the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered up by a bit of tarp or similar material through 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, normally found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly build up in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining adequate ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To get 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 crucial 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 next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, call 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 can contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at Miller Climate Control LLC about checking out 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 HVAC system is running properly before the middle of winter. Otherwise, your HVAC system might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to fix. This also burns off any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working shape, 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 make an effort to get your furnace prepped in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!