The harsh elements are hard on anything left outside throughout the winter. Although air conditioner units are built to withstand winter conditions, they need help to remain protected. Especially in freezing temperatures, here are some reasons to keep your HVAC system’s outdoor unit protected this winter:
Built-Up Ice Damages The Outdoor Unit
Ice build-up causes damage to the outside as well as the inside of your outdoor HVAC unit. As snow melts and re-freezes, cold temperatures cause blocks of ice to be created in roofs, gutters, and other surfaces. Falling ice can cause damage to the exterior of your unit, as well as the lines connected to your system.
Ice build-up also causes internal damage to your unit. If snow and ice are not removed and build up on your outdoor HVAC unit, it causes components of the system to freeze. Extreme enough temperatures can cause motors to freeze, making your compressor unusable. The worst part is that you may not notice there is damage until you go to turn on your unit when the warmer months hit.
Rust Is Destructive
When snow and water are around, rust is an issue. Particularly when combined with exposure to oxygen in the air, water expedites the oxidation process. Although materials such as copper are resistant to corrosion, they are not rust-proof. Eventually, rust leads to a coil losing the capacity to operate and transfer heat properly under pressure.
As rust will affect the internal parts of your HVAC unit, it will also damage the external or structural parts of your system. Although these components are painted or sealed, this is not enough to combat the power of rust. Typically, however, issues commence in unsealed locations such as bolts, screws, and the holes that keep your system together.
Snow And Ice Limit Air Flow
Heat pumps are popular heating systems for many homeowners. Modern heat pumps easily heat a home efficiently even in temperatures below freezing. However, in order to be able to function, they must have access to enough heat which can only be drawn from the air around them. Therefore, airflow is crucial for these systems. If snow and ice accumulate and block airflow it prevents the system from doing its job effectively.
HVAC systems that fill up with snow will result in a similar situation. If snow enters the cage surrounding your interior components, heat transfer is not possible. As a result, your heat pump freezes and your home will not have the heat supply it needs to be kept warm.
Ways To Protect Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
Protecting your outdoor HVAC unit from snow and ice is important to keep it in good working condition. Here are ways to protect your outdoor HVAC unit:
- During snow storms always cover your HVAC system. Covering the system at all times gives critters a place to build a home and find shelter, which causes damage.
- After a heavy snowfall, brush or sweep snow off of your unit. Snow and ice build-up causes damage.
- Clear away the snow around the outdoor unit (at least a one-foot radius). With a heat pump system, the radius should be three to four feet.
- Never use hot water to defrost a frozen air conditioner. Hot water mixed with snow causes temperature shock which can shatter even rigid metal.
- Always have your air conditioner inspected before use in the warmer months to ensure there is no lasting damage from the winter elements.
These are a few reasons to keep your HVAC system protected from snow and ice this winter. Be sure to protect your system from the elements, and schedule your routine HVAC maintenance to ensure your system is running as it should. If you need any assistance with your furnace or home heating and cooling equipment, do not hesitate to contact our team at JOB Heating & Air Conditioning