Winter temperatures can take a toll on your HVAC unit, especially if it’s not properly protected and maintained. If you live in a region with snow during winter months, it’s important to understand how this weather can affect your home’s heating and cooling system.
An HVAC unit covered in snow comes with a set of unique dangers that all homeowners need to be aware of in order to ensure their systems are kept safe and functioning optimally during the winter.
In this blog post, we share practical tips for taking proactive measures against potential hazards posed by low temperatures and heavy snowfalls so you don’t experience the unpleasant surprises of HVAC snow build-up when springtime rolls around!
Need some assistance with your HVAC system? This post has more information on frozen units and how to fix them.
Is HVAC snow build-up safe for my unit?
With winter comes snow and ice, and if your HVAC unit is outside, you may be wondering if snow on your HVAC unit is safe. The short answer is no. While most HVAC units – especially those with components built for outdoors – are generally weather resistant and can handle a thin layer of snow, excess snow buildup can be harmful to your system.
In winter, many homeowners do not check their units for snow build-up regularly, and this can cause damage.
Excess snow and debris can cause damage to your HVAC unit
Extreme weather conditions can cause extensive damage to HVAC units left unprotected from the elements. Excess snow and debris buildup weaken the unit and its components. When exposed to higher levels of moisture, like melting snow, electrical interference can occur between exposed components, leading to a complete system shutdown.
Here are some potential issues that may result:
- Excess snow may insulate the unit, causing it to overheat.
- The snow may prevent the unit from venting properly, causing it to overheat and potentially catch fire.
- Snow and ice build-up may cause the unit to freeze, which can damage the coils and other components.
- Water from the snow could cause corrosion on the unit, which can shorten its lifespan.
- Heavy snow may weigh it down and cause it to fall, which could damage the unit and injure anyone nearby.
Regular maintenance, such as occasional inspections of debris collection around the unit, can help avoid excess load on HVAC units during inclement weather. Keeping vents uncovered helps ensure excessive moisture won’t build up and prevent any safety hazards due to dampness or condensation in areas not visible beneath the coverings.
Taking preventive measures will not only help maintain efficiency but also add years of extra life to your system!
Heavy snow on your HVAC system can give a home to critters
In wintertime, areas at risk of heavy snowfall should take precautionary measures to prevent HVAC snow buildup, as it can provide a home for unwanted critters. When the melted snow refreezes and accumulates on outdoor equipment such as an air conditioner or other ventilation units, an animal may consider this shelter from the cold conditions outside.
Once a cozy home has been established, rodents can now access the warm temperatures from inside your house. This can result in larger infestations that may become more difficult to eliminate without professional assistance.
Dead foliage and other materials found near your HVAC can also attract certain species looking for food. Regular winter routine maintenance is essential for keeping critters out of your property for good.
Tips for preventing potential damage to your HVAC system during the winter
Inspect and clean your HVAC system before the winter season begins.
This will help to ensure that it is operating efficiently and that there are no potential problems that could cause damage during the winter months.
Make sure that your HVAC system is properly insulated.
This will help to prevent heat loss and will keep your system from having to work harder than necessary to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
Keep your HVAC system’s outdoor unit clear of snow and ice.
This will help to prevent the unit from overworking and potentially damaging itself. This will also help to avoid any rodents living in your HVAC unit.
Monitor your HVAC system’s performance throughout the winter season.
This will help you to catch any potential problems early on so that they can be fixed before they cause serious damage.
Have your HVAC system serviced by a professional at least once per year.
This will help to ensure that it is operating correctly and that any potential problems are caught and fixed before they cause serious damage.
Conclusion – Snow on HVAC unit: is it okay?
It is not recommended to have a lot of snow on your HVAC unit for an extended period of time, as it can cause the compressor and coils to overheat. If you need to leave your HVAC unit unattended during a winter storm, be sure to remove any snow that has accumulated on it.
For more information or if you need assistance, call a local heating and cooling professional.
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