How Does the Snow Affect My HVAC System?

How Does the Snow Affect My HVAC System?

The outdoor units of HVAC systems are designed to be long-lasting. But it’d be wrong to assume that they’re not impacted by the environmental elements. To be specific, ice and snow can be brutal for your HVAC system. Especially, when we talk about the extreme cold that has engulfed most parts of the US, you’re lucky if your HVAC system is functioning as it should.

But how do these winter elements affect your HVAC system and what can be done to protect it? Let’s take a look-

Ice and Snow Build Up

During winters, ice and snow accumulate on the outdoor equipment and restrict airflow. As a result, the heating systems must work harder to maintain the desired indoor temperature. While this s not an issue if you clean up the snow accumulation regularly, it could burn out and short-circuit the unit if you don’t.

And that’s not all. Snow accumulation on the coil fins and aluminum fans can bend them. These bent structures might result in the HVAC system making strange noises and the fins can also break.

Exhaust Pipe Clogging

The roof vents are equipped with exhaust pipes for venting the carbon monoxide produced by the furnace. If at all the exhaust pipes are blocked by ice and snow, there can be an accumulation of this deadly gas in the home.

Snow Melting and Refreezing

If snow accumulation was not already a big enough problem, you need to also keep the HVAC unit protected against snow melting. After heavy snowfalls, the melting process can create puddles of ice and snow around the HVAC system’s outdoor components. Now, when the temperature drops again, it results in refreezing which leads to expansion and damage.

Moreover, if the home is equipped with a boiler or gas furnace, water from the melted snow can enter the internal components of the HVAC unit and cause malfunctioning, corrosion, and also fires. On re-freezing, the pipe can get encased in the ice and the furnace can shut down.

How to Keep the HVAC Unit Operational During Winters?

Fortunately, the HVAC issues discussed above can mostly be eliminated with the help of these expert tips-

  • The exterior HVAC unit should be kept clear of ice and snow
  • Regularly remove snow accumulation on and around the exterior unit for efficient performance
  • Never use any sharp object to clear ice accumulation
  • Build a permanent structure above the unit to prevent accumulation but ensure it doesn’t impact the airflow in any way
  • Equip every floor with a carbon monoxide detector
  • If the exhaust pipe can be safely accessed on the roof, clean it to prevent snow accumulation
  • If icicles form right above the exterior HVAC unit, clear them before they get huge, or else they can fall on the unit and damage it

Always Trust the HVAC Pros for the Best Results

Any issue with the heating system amid the record-breaking winter can make things very uncomfortable for you and your family. While you can always use the tips listed above, the best way out is to get the HVAC system regularly inspected and serviced by professionals.

At Beeson Mechanical Service, we have the expertise and experience to ensure your HVAC system delivers peak performance throughout the year. Contact us at 317-535-9338 to schedule an inspection