When you imagine winter, we hope you think of a comfortable evening curled up by the fire. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Wrap up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, usually placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other materials can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter enables air to flow more freely, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every few 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 on occasion will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check 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 could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Titan Heating & Air Conditioning about checking out the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a minor flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to correct. This also burns off any dust that might have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. Once 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 will be on its way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!