When we think about winter, what comes to mind? The holidays, perhaps. Maybe snow and ice.
You know what that means: it’s time to prepare for the impending cold weather. And not just by stocking up on hot chocolate and sweaters (although those are important). You also need to make sure that your heating system is ready for the season. Winter is harsh on HVAC systems, and if you neglect them during this last part of the year, they could fail you when you need them most.
But how do you winterize your HVAC system? How do you make sure it’s ready for the long cold months ahead? Well, we’re here to help.
In this article, HVAC experts in LODI, CA, will tell you how ice and snow can damage your HVAC unit in winter and give you some useful tips on winterizing frozen HVAC.
So, let’s find out.
How Do Ice And Snow Damage Your HVAC Unit?
You know what’s great? Snow. Do you know what’s not great? Snow in your air ducts.
Some people think snow is a fun way to make their home look like an enchanted winter wonderland, but the reality is that it can be harmful to your HVAC system. Here are ten ways snow and ice can damage your HVAC:
Blocked air intake
Snow and ice can block your air intake. Now your AC has no way to get the cool air it needs to function, so it’ll work overtime to try and make up for it. That’s when you start seeing the red light on your thermostat, which means your AC is in emergency mode. It’s also when you hear strange noises from your HVAC unit.
When the air intake is blocked, ice can build up on the heat exchanger coil, which restricts airflow through the system. The result is that you need more cooling power than usual. This will lead to higher energy bills and damage your unit over time.
Frozen condensate lines
When the temperature drops below freezing outside, your HVAC frozen coil will begin to release moisture into the air as it cools down. This moisture is called “condensate.” In some cases, HVAC coils frozen condensate can freeze inside your air conditioner or evaporator coil due to low temperatures outside or high humidity inside the home. Where to look to see if coils are frozen on HVAC? If this happens, there will be no way for water to escape from the unit—so it will begin to build up until either the unit breaks down or water finds its way into electrical components or other parts of your HVAC system.
Ice on fan blades
When there’s ice on your fan blades, it will damage them to the point of replacement. And if you don’t catch it soon enough, those damaged blades could cause other components to fail as well.3. Low airflow due to clogged filter If snow or ice gets into your air filter, it can block airflow and cause damage to other components like blower motors or coils as well as increase energy usage costs by up to 25%.
The compressor is the heart of any air conditioner or heat pump system. It’s responsible for pumping refrigerant gas through coils that cool or heat air, so when they fail, they can be costly to replace.
Corrosion from melting ice
When ice melts on coils or other parts of an HVAC system, it causes corrosion, eventually leading to leaks in the system itself. A leaky system means less efficiency, which means higher energy bills!
Frozen evaporator coils
When the outside of your coil freezes, it can cause damage to the coil itself. The same goes for if your heating coils freeze—it can cause them to crack or become damaged in other ways.
If you have an older HVAC system, water may be able to flow into your ductwork and cause damage to it over time—which means more expenses for you! Moreover, water in your ducts could end up leaking into your home or business through cracks or holes in the ceiling or walls of your structure.
Mold spores are everywhere—they’re almost impossible to avoid completely unless you live in a sterile bubble—but when they land on wet surfaces like HVAC equipment, they grow quickly and can become harmful if inhaled by humans or pets alike!
When the snow melts on roofs, it runs down the roof edge and into gutters. If there isn’t enough slope in the gutter or enough water flowing through it, this water can form an ice dam on top of the roof shingles. This can cause water to pool up behind the dam & leak into the house through the ceiling or walls.
If you have an HVAC unit frozen that relies on a thermostat, it’s important to make sure it works properly year-round. If the thermostat malfunctions during winter, you may end up with a frozen HVAC unit that cannot operate at full capacity until the temperature rises again. This could result in higher energy bills or, even worse—a breakdown of your heating system altogether!
How to Winterize Your HVAC?
Winter is coming, and it’s going to be a cold one. That means you’ll want to ensure that your heating system is in tip-top shape to keep your home warm while you’re curled up in front of the fireplace sipping hot cocoa.
Here are some tips on how to winterize your HVAC:
Clear the area around the outdoor unit.
The area around your HVAC unit must be clear of any debris. This is because debris can get caught in the compressor, which can cause it to fail. Once you’ve cleared the area, make sure that any leaves or other debris that have fallen on top of your unit are removed as well.
Inspect and clean the outdoor unit.
Inspect all system components, including belts and hoses, to ensure they’re in good working condition before putting them away for the winter months. Clean all surfaces with water and soap to remove any dirt or debris so they don’t clog up when you turn on the heat again!
Protect the outdoor unit.
Your outdoor unit is what makes sure your home stays warm or cool. It’s an important part of your HVAC system, so make sure you protect it from the component by covering it with a tarp or covering it with snow. You can also use a snowblower to clear out any snow that might have piled up around your unit over the winter months!
Insulate exposed pipes and ductwork.
If you have pipes or ductwork that aren’t insulated in your home, now is the time to fix that! Be sure to insulate all exposed pipes and ductwork before winter sets in so they don’t freeze over when temperatures drop below freezing outside—and keep in mind that any open windows or doors will allow chilly air into those spaces as well!
Seal air leaks.
There are a lot of ways that cold air can sneak into your home—from cracks around windows and doors to gaps in your attic insulation. Check for all of these areas and seal them up because even a small leak can greatly impact your energy bill.
Adjust thermostat settings.
If you have an older system, it might not be as efficient as newer models. To make up for this, adjust your thermostat so that it will turn off the heat earlier in the day (and turn it back on later). This way, you’ll use less energy without sacrificing comfort!
Change air filters.
Another thing to do when winterizing your HVAC? Change those air filters! If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, set a reminder on your phone so that you can change them every month throughout the year. This will help keep allergens out of your home and keep your system running smoothly for longer.
Schedule professional maintenance.
Whether or not it’s officially winter yet, scheduling professional maintenance by HVAC experts in Lodi for your HVAC system is a great idea—especially if your HVAC hasn’t been serviced in a while or if there have been any severe issues with the unit before (like broken coils or dirty condensate drains). It’s much easier to get those issues taken care of now than it will be when temperatures drop below freezing outside!
Keep vents and registers clear of dust and debris.
If you don’t want to wake up in the middle of winter with a cracked windowpane or a leaky pipe from dried-out woodwork around the registers, make sure they’re clear of messes like spiderwebs or leaves or whatever else might have blown in when you opened that window for fresh air without thinking about how much dirt would come along with it!
Monitor indoor humidity levels.
If you’ve got a humidifier, now’s the time to make sure it’s on and working properly. If not, get one! Humidifiers help keep the air in your home at a comfortable level throughout the winter months by adding moisture back into the air.
Are you worried your HVAC might be frozen? Are you wondering how long it will take to defrost?
Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about frozen HVAC systems:
How to tell if the HVAC is frozen?
You can look at the coils in your HVAC system. If they’re covered in ice or frost, then they’re probably frozen. You can also check their temperature with a thermometer—if it’s below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s another sign that the coils may be frozen.
How long does it take for a frozen HVAC system to defrost?
If there isn’t much buildup on your coils, you can expect them to defrost within an hour. However, if there are more than a couple of inches of ice, you may need to wait up to seven hours for things to thaw out.
What happens if I run my HVAC system while it’s still frozen?
Running your AC when it’s still cold outside could cause damage to your compressor and other components in your system. Because of this, we recommend waiting until temperatures have risen above freezing before using any type of heating or cooling device.
How can I tell if HVAC coils are frozen?
If you have an evaporator coil, it will look like a metal plate with a small hole in the middle. If it’s frozen, ice will build up on top of the coil and prevent air from flowing through properly. If your unit has a compressor, its coils are usually buried in insulation and covered by metal plates that keep them from freezing. These are less likely to freeze than evaporator coils in most cases but should still be checked for ice buildup occasionally if they’re exposed outside (like in an attic).
How do I make sure my HVAC is protected during the winter?
Your best bet is to make sure your heating and cooling system is well maintained throughout the year. If you have an older unit, consider upgrading to a newer one so that it can withstand the temperature changes that come with colder weather. Be sure to keep your system clean and clear of debris by using a cleaning service regularly. This will help ensure your system runs at peak efficiency and does not fail due to clogged filters or dirty coils.
What should I do if my HVAC stops working during this time of year?
If your heating or cooling system stops working during winter months, call a professional immediately! They’ll be able to diagnose the problem quickly and get things back up and running before they become worse. And don’t forget: if you’re having issues with your unit, it’s probably because it needs to be replaced—not just go for HVAC repair services!
Call Blackwell Services for All Your HVAC Unit Needs!
If you’re having trouble with your HVAC unit in Lodi, CA, call Blackwell Services! We’ve been in business since 2000 and offer top-of-the-line HVAC units that will keep your house comfortable, regardless of the season.
We are a family-owned business that has been serving the area for over 20 years. We also offer 24/7 emergency repairs and maintenance contracts for our customers. Our service technicians are trained to handle all makes and models of air conditioners, from traditional to portable and ductless systems. We offer a wide range of HVAC Services and Solutions in Lodi, including:
- Air conditioning repair
- Heating Repair
- High-Quality Air Sealing Service
- Indoor air quality testing and cleaning
- Ductwork installation or replacement
- Furnace repair and installation
- Heating repair and installation
- HVAC maintenance
- HVAC replacement
We believe in providing exceptional customer service at an affordable price. Thus, we carry all parts on our trucks, so we don’t have to wait for shipments to arrive before getting started on your project. This means you can get back up and running quickly while saving time and money!
Whether it’s replacing or repairing an existing system, adding new components, or performing routine maintenance, we can help.
So, don’t let the heat keep you down—call us today at (209) 369-0991 to schedule an appointment with our HVAC technicians in Lodi.