When you think of winter, ideally you think about a cozy evening curled up by the fire. But every now and then winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we prepared this checklist for getting your HVAC system prepared for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near 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 clean of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any vegetation or sticks. It's also recommended to ensure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material through the winter. This keeps ice and anything else from getting inside the condenser.
2. Clean or Replace the Air Filter
Always inspect and clean out your air filter, usually located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can steadily collect in the air filter. If it goes unchecked, your furnace can lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A fresh air filter helps air to flow smoothly, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To get the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every few months or according to manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is vital to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can attract a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help keep it in great shape. Vacuum the area near the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or are not getting any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Search 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 may contribute to all sorts of comfort problems, including heat escaping before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at AZ Air Conditioning and Heating about checking out the system before the temperatures start dropping. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system transform into a major problem.
5. Test Your Equipment Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always wise to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating may be unequipped for the first real drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can provide the chance to detect potential problems early, while they're still more straightforward to solve. This also eliminates any dust that will often have gathered in the air ducts during the fall, removing that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from these 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 make an effort to get your furnace ready 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. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepped for next winter!