When you think of winter, ideally you think of a cozy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves an unreliable furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Winter Blast
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Nearby
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to release heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any plants or rocks. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate 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 gradually accumulate in the air filter. If it continues unchecked, your HVAC system might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter allows air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every two or three months or according to 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 once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area next to the blower and brush the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimum airflow. If you’re hearing any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, call a professional technician to check out 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside can play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, talk to your local technician at Contra Costa Heating & AC about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your heating can give you the chance to recognize potential problems then and there, while they're still simpler to fix. This also eliminates any dust that will often have piled up in the air ducts over the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. As soon as your furnace is in working condition, 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 the way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, having hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!