When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfortable evening at home. But every now and then winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to keep a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your furnace and other HVAC equipment from being poorly equipped for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepped for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Around It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to dispel heat, you'll want to see to it that the area nearby is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or rocks. It's also smart to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily found 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 furnace might lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow more freely, maintaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from an air 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 essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it now and then will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area around the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any odd noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, get a professional technician to examine 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 damage to the condenser unit outside could contribute to all manners of comfort problems, such as heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is noticeable damage, speak with your local technician at West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your furnace is working properly before the middle of winter. If not, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can provide the opportunity to discover potential problems early, while they're still simpler to fix. This also removes any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, eliminating that burnt smell. Once 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 is going to be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready ahead of time, you can spend the all winter enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or relaxing with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Don't forget to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!