It’s safe to say that Winter has officially hit us in Maryland! It’s been a while since we’ve seen some actual snow, so let’s take a few minutes and talk about how it could affect your HVAC system.
A home can have different types of heaters for their HVAC system, but today we’re focusing on the heat pump. This mix of snow, freezing rain, winds and fallen tree branches can do some damage! So while you’re out shoveling, don’t forget about your outdoor heat pump and the area around it! Here are a few tips on how we can keep your heat pump safe and working at maximum efficiency:
Clear Any Harmful Tree Branches
When it snows, tree branches and limbs can grow heavy with snow and ice, leading them to snap off and damage your HVAC unit. If you have tree branches or limbs hanging over or around your outdoor HVAC unit, shake the snow off and/or remove any risky branches or limbs.
Remove Snow and Ice Buildup
In addition to clearing any harmful tree branches or limbs around your outdoor HVAC unit, it’s also essential to clear the unit itself. Your outdoor HVAC unit can handle some snow without any problems, but damage can occur when you get a lingering build-up of ice. Snow piles onto the coil and other internal parts of the outdoor unit, putting things at risk of rust and corrosion. The snow often partly melts and then re-freezes into a block of ice around the parts, and may not melt for quite a while. For a heat pump to work properly, you must keep ice and snow from covering it.
- Make sure to clear your HVAC unit of any heavy snow or ice buildup carefully.
- Never use an icepick or sharp object to remove ice or snow, as this could further damage the system. Instead, use a broom for heavy snow.
- Shovel snow away from underneath the unit and around its sides. Keep a clear radius of at least one foot around the unit.
- Continue to check your heat pump regularly for additional ice and snow build-up.
- Do not pour very hot or boiling water on ice to defrost a frozen unit. Mild water is okay, but you can crack parts by shocking the temperature with hot water.
- Do not keep a cover on your exterior unit when it’s in use.
Check Your Exterior Vents
Snow buildup that blocks your exterior heating vents can be dangerous and damaging to your HVAC system. Whenever there is heavy snowfall, take some time to check your exterior vents and remove any buildup blocking them.
It’s a best practice to make checking your exterior vents a routine part of your snow removal process. Whenever you go out to plow, shovel, or snow-blow your driveway and pathways, pay some attention to your exterior vents too.
For more information on how to safely maintain your furnace or if you have any questions, contact us at Pro-Tech HVAC Home. We’re always happy to help our Annapolis neighbors stay safe and meet their home comfort goals!
Pro-Tech HVAC Home offers new installation, replacement, repairs and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems in the Annapolis area. Our customers rely on us for honest and reliable service for air conditioners, heat pumps, gas furnaces, Mitsubishi systems, and more. We’re happy to answer questions, troubleshoot, and help you choose the best HVAC system for you and your family. We’re always happy to help answer your questions, so please give us a call or send us an email.