Winter Weather and How It Impacts Your HVAC System

The chill of winter can be hard on your home, and things can get more complicated when snow and ice start accumulating. When you’re preparing for temperatures to drop, it’s a good idea to prepare your HVAC system in the event that you lose power, receive a great deal of snow, or have other complications. How does winter weather impact your HVAC system?

How Do Snow and Ice Affect Your Outdoor HVAC Unit?

While many people think of their heating system during cold temperatures, it’s important to remember that snow and ice can also impact your outdoor air conditioning unit. Check your unit when there is significant snow accumulation to clear snow off. When snow sits on the unit, it can corrode or develop rust over time.

If you have a heat pump unit outside that operates throughout the year, you should take extra care when removing snow or ice. Standing water, inches of snow, and ice can all prevent proper air circulation and lead to poor system performance. A little bit of attention can make a big difference and ensure your heat pump is as efficient as possible.

Can Winter Weather Impact Your Furnace?

Snow and ice will primarily impact portions of your HVAC system that are outside, which includes the furnace exhaust vent for your indoor unit. Make sure that the exhaust is not blocked or obstructed in any way. If snow is blowing at an angle, you should check it throughout the storm to clear out any ice or snow preventing air from leaving.

How Can You Clear Off Your HVAC Unit?

When you take time to remove ice and snow from your outdoor unit, you should be careful to avoid doing any damage. Clear off icicles hanging above the HVAC unit, as these could potentially fall and do damage. Keep an 18-inch space around your outdoor unit free from snow and debris. If there is snow on the surface of the unit, use a soft brush or your arm. Never use sharp or pointed objects when you are trying to clear the surface, as these can unintentionally cause damage.

Know the Common Problems Facing Your Heating System

Heating systems are designed to maintain performance throughout the winter, but there can be problems with specific types of units that you should be aware of and prepare for. Some of the best ways to prepare for winter weather include:

  • Ensuring that your heat pump has an auto-defrost setting so that ice will melt away before it has a chance to perform a thick layer that can impair its operation
  • Paying attention to the pilot light of your furnace to ensure that it is burning brightly and lighting up, as there could be an issue with the flame sensor that a technician needs to fix
  • Installing carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home in the rare event that your heater breaks and carbon monoxide levels in the home increase
  • Covering up your outdoor air conditioning unit if it is not a heat pump unit so that animals, leaves, and other debris cannot enter the unit

How Can You Keep Your Heating System in Good Condition?

The best way to make sure that your heating system is ready for winter weather is by working with an HVAC technician, like Hoot! We can visit your home to look over your unit and see if there are any changes that can be made to improve efficiency and reduce the chances of a problem during frigid temperatures. If there are repairs that need to be made, this also allows you to have them completed before your heat stops working in the middle of the night or during a snowstorm.

Trust Hoot Heating & Air to take care of your system and keep your comfortable this winter! Call today 443-309-8420

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