How Snow & Ice Affect Your Outdoor HVAC Unit

All that snow and ice might be nice to look at, but the impact winter weather can have on your outdoor HVAC systems isn’t pretty. If your home has an outdoor heat pump or AC unit, it could be at risk of being damaged this winter.

Taking the time to understand how snow and ice can affect your outdoor HVAC equipment will help you better prepare for the season, so you can avoid needing emergency repair services. Read this blog to find out everything you need to know about the risks winter weather presents for your HVAC systems!

The Impact of Snow & Ice on Your Outdoor HVAC

Snow and ice can wreak havoc on furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners in several ways. AC condenser units are especially susceptible. These units comprise sensitive components, including coil fins, blower fans, and evaporator coils — all of which are exposed to the outdoor elements. If moisture gets into these components and freezes, the ice can damage the coils irreparably.

In other cases, the icicles hanging from your gutters can pose a serious threat to your outdoor HVAC units. Fallen ice and snow can dent your condenser unit’s coils or even ding up your blower fan. If these chunks break off and fall further into your system, they can eventually cause rust and corrosion.

While it’s easy to identify the impact snow and ice can have on your outdoor systems, it’s more difficult to spot the effects of winter weather on airflow within your HVAC system.

When snow and ice build up around outdoor units or vents, it makes it increasingly difficult for air to flow freely through them. This can make your HVAC systems work too hard, decreasing their energy efficiency and increasing your monthly comfort expenses.

6 Quick Tips To Protect Your HVAC Equipment This Winter

There are some easy steps you can take to help keep your HVAC equipment damage-free this season. Here are some quick tips you can follow to keep your heating and cooling systems in top shape despite the snow and ice:

  • Inspect the defrost cycle: If you have a heat pump, check to ensure the defrost cycle works properly. A unit that can’t defrost will inevitably cause trouble down the road.
  • Never cover heat pumps: While you might be tempted to cover your heat pump’s exterior components during the winter, doing so will prevent the system from working properly.
  • Cover air conditioner condensers: By contrast, it’s a good idea to cover the AC condenser unit outside your home with a breathable cover (breathability is key to preventing mold growth during the off season).
  • Create a wind barrier: You might want to create a shield around your exterior units to keep high winds from shaking loose key system components.
  • Shovel snow away regularly: Be sure to keep up with snowfall during the winter and shovel away any snow and ice that may accumulate around your outdoor units.
  • Inspect gutters for ice: Inspect your gutters for icicles, knocking them down away from your exterior systems whenever possible. Use a roof rake to clear away any excess snow buildup on your roof as well.

Contact HomeWorks for Emergency HVAC Repair!

If snow and ice have damaged your HVAC systems this winter, trust the team at HomeWorks to resolve the problem in no time. We offer 24/7 emergency HVAC repair throughout the Twin Cities, providing 100% satisfaction guaranteed in every service we perform.

Allow our team to restore your heating and cooling equipment in no time by calling (651) 300-4415 to schedule emergency HVAC repair today!

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