Winter can be quite unpredictable, and when a snowstorm is in the forecast, you can be sure that it will be a blizzard. To avoid the dangers that come with extremely cold temperatures, you should prepare in advance. Here are some important tips on how you can prepare your HVAC for a snowstorm.
Schedule HVAC Inspection Service
The heating system in your residence is crucial during a snowstorm as it helps keep you warm. Before the cold season peaks, ensure your system is in excellent condition by scheduling an inspection service. Like any other mechanical unit, the heating system has moving and electrical components which undergo wear and tear over time. If you’re within Indianapolis, IN, and its surrounding areas, you can call qualified technicians from Peterman Brothers to help with prepping your HVAC system for a snowstorm. We will check every component of your heating system, from the gas pressure to the motor to the switches to the belts, and make any repairs and replacements needed to keep the system working at its optimum level. This will also help save on energy costs and increase the lifespan of your heating system.
Inspect the Insulation
You should inspect your residence’s insulation before the cold winter weather kicks in. Insulation is vital in ensuring that the warm temperature released by your heating system stays indoors. Without proper and sufficient insulation, cold air will enter the house, which may push your HVAC system to work harder and longer, produce wear and tear faster, and use up more energy (meaning higher utility bills.) Poor insulation can affect your comfort during a snowstorm, not just by allowing heat to escape but by allowing cold air to come indoors. Therefore, it’s best to seek the services of an HVAC technician to check your insulation and make the necessary adjustments when needed.
Inspect and Change the HVACs Air Filters
Air filters trap any dust, pollen, dander, or debris in the air as it enters your house, meaning they will get dirty over time. The HVAC system functions more during a snowstorm, and the filters may clog much faster than usual. Clogged filters can affect your HVAC system’s performance and functionality, which can be a disadvantage in snowstorm conditions. That’s why it’s imperative to inspect and change the air filters regularly. If you’re unsure where to start, call a professional technician. Remember to have extra filters handy for emergency replacements when needed.
Clear the Vents
The vents in your house are the channel through which hot air stemming from your heating system finds its way into your house. Any obstruction can interfere with your HVAC system’s ability to circulate warm air properly. Obstructed and blocked vents can lead to premature heating and the total malfunctioning of your HVAC system. The system could also experience overheating and backflow of warm air due to blocked vents. Consider taking some time to move all the obstructions such as furniture and piled-up clothes away from the vents. You can also clean them for improved indoor air quality.
Keep the Heat Pump Free of Snow and Ice
You should protect the HVAC’s outdoor components from snow and ice. Ensure that the outdoor unit is sheltered. If that’s not possible, you can clear any snow or ice to avoid accumulation. Snow, ice, or other forms of debris can obstruct airflow, causing the condenser or heat pump to malfunction. A malfunctioned heat pump limits the ability of your HVAC to blow well-heated air during chilly days. This malfunction can spell doom for you during a snowstorm as your system can’t regulate your indoor temperature to your desired level.
Get a Backup Generator
Even with a functioning HVAC system, if you don’t have electricity to power it up, your efforts to keep it functional may prove futile. You’ll never know when you’ll lose the power supply during a snowstorm. That’s where a backup generator comes in handy. It can help you maintain the functioning of your HVAC unit and keep your house warm following a blackout until the main power supply is restored. However, you need to be cautious when handling a generator and operate it as per set safety guidelines. Do not keep generators indoors and always use them in well-ventilated spaces to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s also best to avoid “back feeding” your backup generator as it’s quite dangerous and causes substantive injuries, or worse, death.
Check the Thermostat
The thermostat is a key component in regulating your house’s heating level more accurately and efficiently. As you prepare for a snowstorm, it’s best to inspect your thermostat. This will ensure it functions well and depicts the correct indoor temperature so that your HVAC system regulates your home’s temperature accordingly. You can even switch to a programmable thermostat that allows you to preset the temperature or remotely control the thermostat settings. A thermostat inspection will ensure that it’s working properly.
Change the Batteries in the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector
Smoke and carbon monoxide can be detrimental to your health when inhaled. A malfunction in the heating system, such as a break in the heat exchanger, can release carbon monoxide or smoke into your house. However, you can quickly detect these dangerous gases using carbon monoxide or smoke detectors and take the appropriate safety measures. Consider changing the batteries in your detectors before the start of the snow season to ensure they’re working properly.
Purchase Extra Fuel
Does your HVAC system run on fuel? If it does, you better have a steady supply to get you through a storm. Remember that fuel suppliers may get cold too, so they won’t be waiting around in the storm to serve consumers. Now is the time to purchase extra fuel and keep it stored in a safe place, so you’ll be prepared for the cold stormy period when it’s difficult to step outside.
Is it Time to Replace Your HVAC System?
Replacing your system may be costly now, but it may be a welcome call to get through the cold days ahead. If your system has reached its life span, don’t wait for a total breakdown to replace it—it might malfunction when you need it the most. If your system has served you for about 15 years or more, it might be time to upgrade to a new one.
Peterman Brothers is a family-owned and -operated plumbing, heating, and cooling company that has offered HVAC and plumbing services to the residents of Indianapolis, IN, and its surroundings since 1984. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a team of well-trained, experienced, and NATE-certified HVAC technicians. Besides HVAC repair, maintenance, and installation services, we also offer duct cleaning and indoor air quality services. Our technicians work round the clock to deliver the services you need promptly and to keep you comfortable.
For more information about the services at Peterman Brothers, feel free to contact us today.