When you imagine winter, you hopefully think of a comfy evening curled up by the fire. But once in a while 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 showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody likes or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to ensure that the area surrounding it is clean of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a bit of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always check and clean out your air filter, normally located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly collect in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system can lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To get the most benefit from the filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as a key component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum 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. Look 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 flaws in the condenser unit outside can worsen all kinds of comfort problems, including heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Tokay Heating and Air Conditioning about inspecting the system before the temperatures start falling. This way you can avoid letting a small crack in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your heating or cooling is functioning properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your heating might be unprepared for the first true drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to detect potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to solve. This also burns away any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather will be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season 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 ready for next winter!