Heavy snow might look like a magical winter wonderland, but it will put a strain on your heating system. When it’s that cold outside, your heater has to work harder to keep your house just as warm.
This results in early wear and tear and means your heating system will need more repairs and maintenance over time. Here’s what you can do to protect your system and what our experienced heating technicians can do to assist.
It’s not really the cold that poses a threat to your outdoor unit – it’s the accumulation of snow and ice. Start by covering your unit with a tarp or awning in the winter. It doesn’t really matter what material you use so long as it keeps the moisture out.
You don’t want heavy, wet snow or ice to build up to where it can seep in and start to cause problems, especially when the temperatures rise and the snow starts to melt. Even though it’s cold, mold and mildew can grow inside your outdoor unit if water gets in and can’t get back out.
If you have gas pipes or refrigerant lines on the outside of your house, you’ll also want to cover and insulate those before the season gets underway. This helps keep your system from having to work with cold, sluggish gas or refrigerant when trying to heat your house. It also protects your pipes from insects and nuisance animals outdoors that could be attracted to the warmth radiating off of your pipes.
If you live in an area that’s prone to heavy snows or extremely cold weather, you may need a backup heating source. For example, if you normally use central HVAC, you could have a few space heaters on standby just in case the temps drop below what your system can actually handle.
A good idea in this situation would be to switch to ductless and use your central system as the backup, so you can have superior home comfort with the peace of mind that you have two sources of heating if it really comes down to it.
Having multiple heating sources won’t help if you don’t have power though. Winter storms and ice accumulation on electrical lines can easily cause a power outage that takes hours or even days to fix. A generator can run your home heating system, lights, and other critical appliances while the power is out, so you can still live and work when there’s adverse weather.
If your heating system isn’t in good condition before winter hits, it will be less likely to survive heavy snow or ice buildup. Instead, have your heating specialist come to your home to check your furnace, wood stove, or ductless heater in the fall to give you the green light.
They can make sure there are no problems that could get worse if your system is suddenly stressed by a storm. If anything needs to be cleaned or repaired, this can be done before your heater is really needed.
If you do get snow, be sure to clean it off of your unit as soon as possible. Even if it’s still snowing, you should remove any drifts or piles that have accumulated on your unit when you see them. You may have to do this a few times in the event of severe weather, but it helps keep your system from being exposed to large amounts of snow or ice. If you have an awning over your unit, this might not be necessary. If you have a tarp, you can just pull it off, shake the snow off, and replace it.
Having heat readily available all winter isn’t just about home comfort – the cold can be deadly. Over 20 people die each year due to not being able to adequately heat their living spaces or being exposed to the cold outdoors (Statista). This means you need to take action now to prevent problems from cropping up when the cold weather is already here.
Contact us today for heating system installation, maintenance or repairs from experienced and certified HVAC technicians you can trust. Call Jones Services now by dialing (845) 289-8532 or by filling out our online form and our team will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your important home heating questions.