When you think of winter, we hope you imagine a cozy evening at home. But sometimes winter decides not to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You may not be able to stop a blizzard from showing up, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a faulty 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 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 see to it that the area surrounding it 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 make sure it's covered up by a section of tarp or similar material during 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, customarily located in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and maybe even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To secure the most benefit from an air filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can collect a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area around the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for more efficient airflow. If you’re hearing any odd noises or aren't getting 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 doesn't have 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 manners of comfort problems, like heat escaping before it makes it to your ductwork. If there is significant damage, consult your local technician at MPC Heating & Cooling about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. 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 practical to make sure your furnace is working properly before its busiest season. Otherwise, your heating might be unequipped for the first true drop in temperatures. Performing a test run of your furnace can give you the chance to notice potential problems right away, while they're still more straightforward to resolve. This also removes any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. Once your furnace is in working condition, you can sled away from your 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 make an effort to get your furnace prepared beforehand, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, drinking hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Be sure to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!