When you think of winter, you hopefully imagine a cozy evening in your warm home. But sometimes winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're stuck shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves an unreliable 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 dispel heat, you'll want to make sure that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or rocks. It's also a good idea to ensure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter enables air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality healthy. To secure the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital 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 maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and clean the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or aren't getting any circulation from the vents, get 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 a large dent in the condenser unit outside could contribute to all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, speak with your local technician at Siloam Springs Heating & AC about checking out the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight gap in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always smart to make sure your HVAC system is working properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your HVAC system might be unprepared for the first real drop in temperatures. Doing a test run of your furnace can offer you the opportunity to notice potential problems then and there, while they're still easier to resolve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have accumulated in the air ducts during the fall, eliminating that burnt smell. When 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 on its way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace prepped beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!