Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Winter weather is fast approaching, which means that it’s time to start preparing your HVAC system for the possibility of snow and ice buildup.
While your HVAC systems outdoor unit is designed to take a beating. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the elements outside can’t cause serious damage to your unit throughout the season. Which, is why the pros at Air Dynamics HVAC want to share how you can help prevent damage from occurring to your home’s heating and cooling system this season. In this article, we will cover the top 6 things to consider when it comes to protecting your HVAC system during the harsh winter months.
Schedule Your System for Seasonal Maintenance
If you haven’t already it’s important to schedule your HVAC unit for seasonal maintenance. Good and proper maintenance of your unit goes a long way when it comes to saving you money and improving the overall longevity of your HVAC system.
Before the first snowfall hits call the professionals at Air Dynamics to schedule your system for seasonal maintenance.
Taking the time to have your unit properly serviced by the professionals at Air Dynamics will help to ensure that your system is ready to go when you need it the most. Our highly trained technicians do more than just a simple filter change and check-up. We take the time to properly inspect, clean, and test your system. Providing you with a full report on your equipment’s performance & identifying any underlying issues before they cause an unexpected breakdown or costly repair.
Check Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm
It is scary to think that an invisible odorless gas can cause you to lose your life. Familiarizing yourself with the warning signs, proper carbon monoxide detector placement, and replacing batteries when needed may just save your life. Protect yourself and your family by changing the batteries in your carbon monoxide alarm at least once every 6 months.
If your carbon monoxide detector is over 5 years old, It may be time to purchase a new one. The average carbon monoxide alarm will have a lifespan of 5-7 years before requiring replacement.
If you suspect you or a loved one has been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide DO NOT WAIT, seek immediate medical attention
To have your home tested for unsafe levels of carbon monoxide contact a professional at Air Dynamics HVAC today!
Adjust Your Thermostat
It’s no secret, adjusting your thermostat seasonally can save you big bucks on your energy bill. According to the US Department of Energy, simply setting your temperature back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day from its normal setting will save you an average of 10% a year on your heating/cooling bill.
Save energy this winter by setting your homes thermostat to 68°F while you’re awake and lower while you’re asleep or away from home
Want to optimize your energy savings even more? Consider replacing your old thermostat with a newer model that offers smart features. In fact, most smart thermostats will allow homeowners to connect their devices via Wi-Fi. These Wi-Fi thermostats contain sensors that control the heating and cooling systems at your home or office in conjunction with your existing HVAC system. Giving you the ability to control your home/office temperature even when you are away.
Don’t Forget About Your Heat Pump
Your HVAC systems outdoor unit though designed to withstand the elements isn’t safe from harm during the winter season. That’s why it is important to remember to check on your outdoor unit once the snow starts rolling in.
If snow or ice is left to encapsulate your HVAC unit, it could cause your system to freeze or go into emergency shutdown mode. Meaning your home will no longer receive the heat it needs. Leaving you in the cold and putting your pipes at risk of freezing.
When removing ice from the unit, avoid using sharp objects that have the potential to cause damage to your unit’s coils or fins.
Taking the time to clear away any snow or ice buildup during or after a major storm may just save you from dealing with the headache of an unexpected breakdown. At Air Dynamics, we recommend first removing any snow or ice accumulation from the top and sides of your unit. Then, clearing a space of at least 18 inches around all sides to allow for breathing room. It is also important to be aware of any icicles hanging overhead that could potentially fall, causing damage to your outdoor unit. If you see any hanging, safely remove them before they do.
Don’t Block The Exhaust… It Could Be A Deadly Mistake!
Large piles of snow can easily block the exhaust of your furnace and prevent the unit from working. It can also put you and your family at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If your exhaust vent is blocked, your furnace cannot breathe. That means all of the harmful fumes your unit would have safely released outside of your home; are now trapped and building up inside. Posing a serious risk to you and your family.
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness.
Although most furnace systems have safety measures in place in the event that the exhaust becomes accidentally blocked; it is always best to take the time to ensure that your unit has a clear venting path. This is especially important after any heavy snowfall.
Keep Your Air Intake Vent Clear
Equally important to ensuring that exhaust fumes have a way to vent out; is checking to be sure that clean air can make its way into your unit as well. If snow or ice buildup is blocking your air intake vent; your unit will be starved of the air necessary for combustion and proper operation.
Don’t let winter snow starve your HVAC system of the necessary air it needs to breathe.
Protecting your system from snow and ice is pretty simple, and will only take a few minutes of your time. Stepping outside during or after a significant snowstorm might be unpleasant but will surely be worthwhile. Especially when it comes to extending the life of your HVAC system and keeping your hard-earned money where it belongs. In your wallet!
If you are in need of assistance with your home’s HVAC unit please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office anytime. Our friendly staff is always available to answer any questions you may have regarding your HVAC system.
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