Ways Your HVAC System Can Be Shocked by Cold Weather

Ways Your HVAC System Can Be Shocked by Cold Weather

Although your hard-working HVAC system is always expected to keep you warm in winter and cool in summer, the fact is that the weather can sometimes do a number on the equipment. Cold weather can be especially harsh.

Here are some circumstances in which the weather may damage your equipment or cause it to function at less than its peak.

  1. Furnace. Most furnaces — except for some types of gas floor furnaces — will not run when the electricity goes off. So if ice accumulation or high winds damage power lines during an ice storm or in cold weather, or the grid buckles with demand, you could be without heat. Electricity is needed to power the thermostat that sends the message for heat to the furnace, while the blower needs power to distribute the heat. Turn your unit off if the power goes off so you don’t get a damaging electrical surge when the power comes back on. You may want to hire an HVAC service technician and an electrician to wire a generator to power the HVAC system during emergencies when the power goes off.
  2. Heat pump. Older models of heat pumps may not heat the home adequately during extreme cold spells. (This includes ductless mini-splits). But newer heat pumps have been designed to overcome this deficiency and to work adequately in cold weather.
    Heat pumps have a defrosting feature which kicks on to defrost condensation. If the defrost feature isn’t working right, the heat pump could be covered in ice. Some reasons for freeze-ups include faulty sensors, thermostat malfunction, defroster malfunction, low refrigerant level, bad frost relay, poor drainage, outdoor motor malfunction, or equipment not being level. Call your maintenance tech to unfreeze the unit and to service the heat pump. Avoid touching the unit when clearing snow.
  3. Ice. Falling ice from the roof or broken tree limbs can damage the air conditioner’s outdoor condenser. Protect it from ice or limbs with some type of cover during an ice storm.

For more on protecting your HVAC equipment from cold weather, contact Powers Heating and Air of Peachtree City.

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