Tips for Protecting Your HVAC System from Snow & Ice

Protecting HVAC System

Have you already experienced your first snow of the year?

Are you expecting a snowy holiday season?

We agree that there is nothing quite like a winter wonderland around the holidays. However, while it can make a festive atmosphere, there are various things you should keep in mind when it comes to your home comfort systems– especially if you have a heat pump.

Some of the tips below are provided to keep you and your heating and cooling safe, while others are focused on retaining your utility bills low. Make sure you have a happy holiday season by following the tips below:

Advice for Heat Pump Owners:

Avoid Installing Outdoor Units Directly On the Ground – This suggestion is for you to prevent possible air restriction and blocked drainage due to snow and ice buildup. Also, 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 allow clearance for service calls and proper airflow at least two feet from the 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.

Advice for Gas Furnace Owners:

Ensure Your Exhaust Pipes are Clear of Snow and Debris – Guarantee 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. If melting snow seeps in and re-freeze, the pipes may become wrapped in 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.

General Advice:

During the winter season, our heating systems work pretty much non-stop. Thus, several parts such as filters will need replacement 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.

  • Set the thermostat at one heat at a time – Constant adjusting can cause higher utility costs and 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. In the cooling season, avoid fixing the thermostat below 70 degrees. Besides the higher utility costs, this can cause the indoor coil to freeze and cause condensation in the home.
  • 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 for the heating season.
  • Also, before your appointment, ensure that if it has snowed or iced outside, your walkway is clear. Your HVAC contractor will much appreciate it.

Are you prepared for the winter?

If you think that something may have happened to your heating and cooling system during a snow or ice storm, make sure you reach EinsteinPros. We can evaluate your system and readily identify areas where it may be vulnerable to snowmelt and other effects of the winter period. Remember that it is always a great idea to schedule a routine maintenance service before winter kicks in full swing to make sure that your system will run smoothly when heavy snow and freezing temperatures strike.

Call us today at 888-671-7767 or email [email protected] to schedule timely and reliable repair service in Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. We can solve any plumbing, heating & cooling, water heater problem, big or small.

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