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How to Protect Your HVAC System from Snow and Ice this Winter

HVAC system outdoor units are made to take a beating, but that doesn’t mean that the elements can’t cause some serious damage. Snow and ice are particularly brutal on HVAC systems, but you can help protect your unit. Here are a few tips for protecting your HVAC system from snow and ice from Cates Heating and Cooling.

Don’t Let Snow and Ice Build Up

When snow or ice starts to encapsulate your HVAC unit, your system could freeze or emergency shutdown. If this occurs, then your home will no longer receive heat, and the pipes in your home might start to freeze as well, causing plumbing problems.

Clear hanging icicles off of any part of your home that hangs over the HVAC unit to prevent damage to the unit that could end up being very expensive.

The best way to prevent damage from snow and ice build-up is to keep the space around your unit clear. After a large snowstorm, or during if you are expecting feet of snow, you can clear a space that is at least 18 inches all around the unit. In addition, keep the top and sides of the unit uncovered. When removing ice from the unit, avoid using sharp objects as you don’t want to damage the coils and fins.

Don’t Block the Exhaust

Large piles of snow can block the exhaust of your furnace and prevent the unit from working. Another big problem with a blocked exhaust is that carbon monoxide might start seeping into your home, which can cause serious health problems for your family. Most furnace systems have safety measures in place in case the exhaust becomes blocked, but it is always better to be as safe as possible.

Keep Air Intake Vent Clear

Just like you want to let exhaust fumes out, you want to make sure that new air can be brought into your home. If snow is blocking your intake vents, your system will be starved for the air it needs for combustion.

If you notice that your furnace is always trying to start up but isn’t turning on, you might want to go outside to make sure that your intake vent is clear. Then you can turn the system off, give it a minute, and turn it back on to reset the unit.

Keep in mind that your HVAC unit is made to withstand snow and ice, but that doesn’t mean that the unit can’t be damaged to do extreme weather and lack of proper care during the harsh winter months. Protecting your HVAC system from snow and ice is pretty simple. It will benefit you to take a few minutes after a snowfall to make sure that your system is clear.

You can also take some measures to prevent damage prior to the arrival of winter. Check out our winterization tips.

If you are having problems with your HVAC system, contact us today for a consultation. Kansas clients can call us at 913-888-4470. Missouri clients can call 816-944-1844.

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