When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening at home. But every now and then winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being ill prepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a faulty 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. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is clear of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also smart to make sure it's protected by a bit 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 inspect and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow smoothly, maintaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from your 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 an integral component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check out your blower.
4. Check 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside could worsen all manners of comfort problems, such as heat escaping before it moves into your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, talk to your local technician at Air Concepts of Middle Georgia about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is running properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your HVAC system could be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your furnace can offer you the chance to detect potential problems right away, while they're still easier to fix. This also eliminates any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you make an effort to get your furnace prepared in advance, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!