How Winter Weather Impacts Your HVAC System
If you live in Ohio, you know how unpredictable the weather can be. With the ongoing potential of ice and snowfall throughout the winter season, we'd like to share our tips and frequently asked questions regarding how winter weather impacts your HVAC system.
Does Ice & Snow Cause Harm To My Outdoor Unit?
Just because we are in the heating season, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be mindful of that air conditioner sitting outside while inches of ice or snow are falling down. Keep watch on the snow accumulation that is gathered on and around your A/C unit during winter weather. Your A/C will benefit from being cleared of snow so that it can receive the proper airflow needed to prevent any rusting or corrosion from occurring.
If your outdoor unit is a heat pump, meaning that it operates in both heating and cooling modes, you’ll want to be extra attentive to snow or ice on and around the system. That unit will be operating in heating mode this season, so any piling of snow (or melted standing water) can directly impact the operation of the heating system.
Will Winter Weather Conditions Affect My Furnace?
Anytime there is a potential for significant snowfall, it’s important to keep an eye on not only that outdoor unit but also the furnace exhaust vent that is located on the exterior of your home. If that exhaust becomes blocked, preventing your system from working correctly, you could experience issues with your furnace, which could include a system breakdown. Additionally, this build-up can cause your pipes to leak and not work correctly.
What Can I Do To Help My HVAC System During Winter Weather?
Monitor Your Outdoor Unit & Exhaust Pipes
Shovel away any snow buildup, and inspect your gutters near the system to ensure they are not dripping on the unit. Watch for melting snow and ice when the temperatures start to rise again to confirm that no water is collecting near your air conditioner or heat pump. Be mindful of snowfall piling up or drifting near your exhaust pipes (PVC pipes that are commonly found outside near the air conditioner in homes that have basements). Exhaust pipes that become blocked by snow can be dangerous, as they can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home.
Do Not Cover Your Air Conditioner
Because the majority of outdoor units are built to endure these harsh winter weather conditions, we do not recommend using any type of cover on that system. Covering your A/C in the winter can cause moisture to become trapped within the unit and can freeze the air conditioner's condenser coils, which can cause damage over time. The best thing you can help provide is airflow to help eliminate that moisture from causing any harm to the system.
Check/Change Your Furnace Filter Often
Especially when the temperatures drop to extreme lows, you'll want to make sure that you are helping your furnace by providing it with a clean air filter. A furnace that is operating more frequently will require a more consistent filter change to ensure that there is proper airflow going through that heating system. A clogged filter is likely to result in a system breakdown, so you'll want to avoid that at all costs.
Know When To Make The Call For Help
The moment you notice something wrong with your heating system, whether it be a sound, a smell, or even an issue keeping up with the set temperature, make the call for help. A professional HVAC service technician can help diagnose the system to prevent a breakdown and help keep you comfortable during these cold winter days.
If you have heating needs during the bitter cold and snowy forecast we are looking at over the next week, trust the fast, friendly team at Logan A/C & Heat Services!