Last winter, we had record-breaking snow, ice, and generally wet weather here in Oregon. Many were left wondering what steps to take in order to protect their homes in the event of another surprising snow or ice storm. Here are our top tips to help protect your HVAC equipment from being potentially damaged by winter weather.
1. Perform a Visual Inspection of the Surrounding Area
Tree limbs that seemed harmless during the warmer months of the year could prove to be hazardous to your outdoor HVAC unit during a snowy winter. Make sure there aren’t any heavy snow-laden branches at risk of breaking off and damaging your HVAC unit.
Check the surrounding gutters for leaks. A gutter leaking, and water subsequently freezing, onto your HVAC unit could restrict it’s airflow and cause the entire unit to freeze.
2. Clear Outdoor Units of Heavy Buildup
Heavy snow or ice buildup on your outdoor HVAC unit can cause major problems and lead to potentially costly repairs. Too much snow buildup can restrict airflow which can cause condensing units and heat pumps to fail. Buildup can also prevent units from properly defrosting and shorten the lifespan of your HVAC.
While cleaning off your outdoor unit, turn it off or to “emergency heat” for safety and clear snow or ice with care. When removing snow or ice, never use any sharp objects that could cause damage to the unit itself. Use ice melt or warm water (never boiling water) to aid in the removal of ice.
3. Change Out Air Filters
It’s more important than ever to change out your air filters at least once every three months. Your HVAC unit is working extra hard to transfer heat throughout your home and having clean filters will mean less work for your furnace and increased airflow.
4. Prevention is Key
Make sure you’ve had your annual furnace tune-up performed by a Columbia Heating and Cooling certified technician. While we offer 24/7 emergency repair and installation, ensuring your furnace is in good working order before the cold weather hits is the most cost-effective course of action. During our 19-point inspection, we’ll address any potential issues with your furnace and you’ll avoid problems down the road.
If you still haven’t scheduled your annual furnace tune-up, it’s not too late! Schedule before December 31st, you’ll save an additional $10 off the total cost when you combine any two tune-ups (furnace, fireplace or air conditioner). Take advantage of this great deal and be prepared for any inclement weather coming up this winter. Give us a call today!