Use These Tips to Prepare Your HVAC System for Winter

August 23, 2022

When you imagine winter, we hope you think about a cozy evening at home. But sometimes winter doesn't want to go along with our plans, and we end up shivering in our own homes. You won't always be able to prevent a blizzard from rolling through, but you can prevent your HVAC system from being unprepared for winter. Nobody prefers 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 Winter

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 ensure that the area close to the unit itself is clear of any yard debris. Clean 5 feet of space or so from any leaves or sticks. It's also a good idea to make sure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material during the winter. This keeps ice and other problems from getting inside the condenser.

2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter

Always check and clean out your air filter, customarily found in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other contaminants can steadily accumulate in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating might lose efficiency and possibly even become a fire hazard. A clear air filter allows air to flow smoothly, sustaining good ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality higher. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or change it every couple of months or according to manufacturer instructions.

3. Clean the Blower

The blower is essential to your Lennox furnace, and as an integral component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it on occasion 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’re hearing 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 doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or damage to the condenser unit outside may play a role in all sorts of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it moves into your ductwork. If there is significant damage, talk to your local technician at Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning about examining the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a slight flaw in the system transform into a major problem.

5. Test Your Heating Before It Gets Too Cold

It's always wise to make sure your heating or cooling is running properly before the middle of winter. If you don't, your furnace might be unprepared for the first real 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 simpler to solve. This also eliminates any dust that might have accumulated in the air ducts beforehand, removing that burnt smell. As soon as 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 should be heading this way before you know it. If you take the time to get your furnace ready in advance, you can spend the winter enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or hanging out with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home prepared for next winter!