The cold winter can affect HVAC systems just as much as the summer. With cold temperatures comes ice and snow, which can take out an unwary homeowner’s HVAC system. With this in mind, what should you do to ensure your HVAC system survives the freezing season?
What does HVAC really mean?
HVAC may sound somewhat obscure, so let’s take a look at what it stands for. HVAC is a shortening of “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” Many people might not know that. Indeed, not only are we talking about heating and air conditioning, but your home’s ventilation as well.
Keep snow off your HVAC system
Most HVAC systems have outdoor units, which means they’re exposed to the elements. This includes ice and snow. Accumulated snow must be brushed or swept off of these units, or it can get inside and rust or corrode the unit. If you have a heat pump, which works like air conditioning in reverse, you’ll need to be extra cautious about this, as heat pumps can’t start up once they’ve frozen.
Also make sure snow doesn’t block up any ventilation. Furnaces with blocked ventilation can suffer lower efficiency to a complete breakdown. In addition, blocked exhaust pipes can cause dangerous furnace emissions, including lethal carbon monoxide, to build up inside.
Be careful with outdoor pipes as well, since frozen pipes can burst.
Do not cover outdoor units
With what was just said about how snow should be kept off of units, don’t cover the units with tarps or such. This can trap moisture inside, which can go into the unit and freeze air conditioning condenser coils. While you won’t notice this issue during the winter, when the seasons turn and you go to turn your AC on, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Check and replace furnace and ventilation filters
An old, clogged filter can drastically lower efficiency and even cause furnace emissions, as stated before, to build up indoors. Check and replace your filters throughout winter (and ideally during the rest of the year, every month if you can). Keeping your filters in proper conditions can eliminate some of the cost of an HVAC system, both in efficiency and repairs.
Something is wrong with my HVAC system!
Do not hesitate to call if you notice something is off with your HVAC system. Funny smells or noises from the furnace are a cause for concern, especially in the winter. If your thermostat isn’t working, the heating system is essentially useless, as you can’t control it. Of course, if you find any visible damage, you’re in quite the bit of trouble. Find a professional to fix your HVAC system fast if you notice anything strange with it, because the longer you wait, the more damage could rack up. Our recommendation for HVAC check-ups and repair is Brock Heating & Air, servicing Robertson County of Tennessee and the surrounding areas. We’ll get your HVAC system working in tip-top shape in no time!