How to Protect Your HVAC System from Snow and Ice in Michigan

During winter months it’s pretty common in Michigan to have snow and ice build up. During these times it’s important to have a heating system that works properly. Unfortunately, many people neglect their heating systems during this time. In this article I’ll discuss some of the things you should do to protect your HVAC system from snow and ice in Michigan.

Protect Your HVAC System from Snow and Ice in Michigan

Even after a snowfall there could be problems associated with the snow and ice. Snow melt and ice buildup can cause huge problems for your HVAC system and learning how to protect it is key to staying warm and comfortable this winter. Each system is different and I’ll go over what you’ll need to do in order to protect your HVAC system from snow and ice in Michigan below.

Protecting Your Heat Pump

It’s perfectly normal for a heat pump to have frost on the exterior unit. In fact, sometimes you’ll see the heat pump go through the defrost cycle and it may have steam coming from the unit. When the heat pump is totally encased in snow it will not operate properly. Also freezing rain falling on the unit may cause the fan blade to go out of balance. Keeping the exterior unit clear of snow drifts can help the unit operate more efficiently.

When the heat pump is totally encased in snow it will not operate properly.

Gas Furnaces

Most gas furnaces are located in the garage or basement which protects them from snow and ice. There may be air ducts and vents that go outside however that will need to be protected. Be aware of melting snow and ice that may find it’s way into these vents. If the furnace loses this vent it may shut down completely. For furnaces located in the basement you need to make sure the water from melting snow or ice doesn’t find it’s way into the basement. Just a small amount of water in the basement can cause all sorts of problems.

Protect Your HVAC System from Snow and Ice in Michigan

Protect Your HVAC Unit From Run Off

Snow and ice that melts can really be a problem when it starts melting. Even more of a problem when it starts melting then freezes again. Protecting vital HVAC systems from run off is one of the most important things you can do to protect your HVAC system in Michigan from snow and ice. When snow and ice starts to melt from rooftops it can drain directly into ventilation pipes and vents. Once it freezes over again the ventilation pipes can become clogged with ice which degrades the unit’s performance. It’s important to inspect these pipes and vents to make sure they are clear of any blockages that may have happened during snow drifts or run offs.

A great way to reduce the risk of snow or ice doing any sort of damage to your HVAC system is by inspecting it before a snow or ice storm hits. Make sure proper drainage is in place around any exterior units and that gutters are located in areas where ventilation pipes are installed.

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