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Tips to Protect Your Heating System from Winter Weather

A heating system in the winter

While there is nothing quite as magical as a snowy winter, some downsides often come along with the snow and ice. While it can make for a winter wonderland, there are various things you should keep in mind when it comes to your home comfort systems– especially if you have a heat pump.

We’re sharing some of our favorite tips to keep you and your heating safe throughout the winter months.

General Advice:

During the winter months, our heating systems work pretty much non-stop to keep us comfortable in our homes. As a result, several parts of our heating systems, such as filters, will need replacing more often to maintain consistent indoor temperature and optimal air circulation. Clogged air filters will limit airflow and can lead to a system that struggles to reach the temperature you desire or even worse, a system malfunction.

  • Adjust the thermostat one degree at a time – Constant adjusting can cause higher utility costs and strain or damage your unit.
  • Avoid setting the thermostat below 65 degrees or above 75 degrees – In the heating season, a heat pump that is set below 65 degrees will not generate enough heat, and above 75 degrees will use too much energy.
  • Change Your Furnace Filter – A clean filter is beneficial for maintaining a safe air quality and maximum airflow. Always remember to change your furnace filter at least once a month.
  • Don’t Forget Your Annual Maintenance Appointment – It is the best way to make sure that your gas furnace or heat pump is ready when you need to start heating your home.

Tips for Heat Pump Owners:

  • Avoid Installing Outdoor Units Directly on the Ground – Snow and ice buildup on the ground can lead to possible air restriction and blocked drainage for your heat pump. Also, be sure to set it at least 18 inches away from the wall to increase air passage and to avoid drifting exposure.
  • Consider Planting Shrubbery to Block Heavy Winds – Make sure to keep enough space for service calls and proper airflow, we recommend keeping all shrubbery at least two feet from the unit to block heavy winds without compromising the effectiveness of your unit.
  • Don’t Be Alarmed by Defrost Mode – When your heat pump is in defrost mode, it will briefly reverse its operation, so that warm air is being supplied to your outdoor equipment. This process is to melt any ice or snow that may have accumulated in the system. Defrost mode is perfectly normal and should not last too long before returning to normal operation.

Tips for Gas Furnace Owners:

  • Ensure Your Exhaust Pipes are Clear of Snow and Debris – Ensure that the exhaust and intake pipes are well protected from snow buildup and melting snow. Whether they are located on the roof or sidewall, these tubes, without proper protection can become vulnerable to the elements. If melting snow seeps in and re-freezes, the pipes can become lined with ice, which can cause your heater to shut down.
  • Both boilers and gas furnaces have valves and controls that are highly vulnerable to water damage. Corrosion often happens inside them, which can result in problems even if the exterior appears dry. Water damage most commonly leads to reliability issues, so if you suspect that water from melting snow or flooding has reached your gas appliance, get the system checked by a licensed heating technician as soon as possible.

Are you Prepared for Winter Weather?

If you think that something may have happened to your heating system during the winter, make sure you reach out to your local Einstein Pros. Our technicians will evaluate your system and readily identify areas where it may be vulnerable to snowmelt and other effects from the winter months. Whether you need emergency service or are scheduling a routine appointment, leave the service to the Pros!

Contact us today to schedule timely and reliable repair service in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, or Nevada. No matter your plumbing, heating & cooling, water heater problems, big or small, we can solve them all!

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