When you imagine winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening curled up by the fire. 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 prevent a blizzard from rolling 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 prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover up Your Outdoor Unit and Clean the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to ensure that the area nearby is clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's protected 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 evaluate and clean out your air filter, normally placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can gradually build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow easily, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three 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 it continue working at its best. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you hear any unusual noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to examine 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 contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Contra Costa Heating & AC about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small gap in the system grow into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your furnace could 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 simpler to solve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When 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 should 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 rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having 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 prepared for next winter!