How to Prepare Your HVAC System for a Snowstorm

Snowstorms are a typical part of the winter experience in the greater Indianapolis area. Long periods of frigid temperatures are commonplace, and heavy snowfalls can dump several inches overnight. During this season, staying safe and comfortable indoors is critical, but your heating system may struggle in the cold. Help your HVAC equipment maintain performance this winter by following these tips from the heating and cooling experts at B&W. Contact B&W today for heating maintenance, repairs, and installations.

How to Prepare Your Heating System for a Snowstorm

1. Maintain Your Heating Equipment

To prepare your home’s heating system for a snowstorm this winter, it’s best to start in the fall with an annual tune up. HVAC maintenance should be performed in the fall to ensure equipment is in top shape going into the winter season when furnaces and heat pumps are used heavily. 

During a tune up, a skilled HVAC technician thoroughly examines the system and inspects for potential issues while delivering the care each component needs to mitigate the effects of wear and tear. Performance problems can be identified and corrected early on to protect the system from damage and help your home avoid unexpected system outages over the winter. If you haven’t already done so, schedule your heating tune up today.

If you have a high-efficiency gas furnace, you should check the furnace exhaust vent (usually a PVC pipe) on the outside of your home to ensure it’s clear of any debris.

2. Stock Up on Air Filters

During the winter, heaters run far more often than they do when temperatures are mild. With air cycling through the system more frequently, filters can become clogged faster. It’s important to replace air filters when they become full of matter so the system maintains proper airflow to avoid performance issues.

It’s a good idea to examine the air filter monthly over the winter so you can change it as soon as you find it is clogged. Prepare your HVAC unit for winter by purchasing extra filters to have on hand.

3. Inspect & Add Insulation

The majority of Hoosier homes don’t have enough insulation, which makes it difficult for homes to retain heat produced by the furnace or heat pump. Check your insulation, and increase insulation levels where needed.

Also, stop drafts and air leaks to prevent heat loss during the winter. Check around windows, doors, and other areas to pinpoint leaks and seal them properly.

4. Keep Heat Pumps Clear

Once all the leaves have fallen, take a look at your exterior heat pump. Remove any leaves or other debris that have gathered up against the unit or have become caught within the fins. Your heat pump needs to be clear to receive adequate airflow necessary for heat exchange. After a heavy snowfall, you’ll want to remove drifts and clear snow away from the exterior unit.

Also, if there are large icicles above the heat pump, you need to make sure they don’t fall into the heat pump.

5. Consider a Backup Generator

It’s not unheard of to lose power during a winter storm. In these situations, the average home is left without heat, as heat pumps run off electricity and even gas furnaces require it for operation. Long periods without heat create unsafe conditions, which may force your family to leave home and seek shelter, even though roads are still dangerous.

When you install a backup generator to power your heater through a utility outage, rest assured your family will stay safe and warm throughout this period. Get your HVAC unit ready for a snowstorm by securing a reliable source of power, just in case an outage occurs.

Get Your Heating System Ready for Winter

B&W Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Drains helps Indianapolis area homeowners prepare their HVAC unit for cold weather challenges to keep their home warm and comfortable. Schedule your heating system tune up today to ensure your furnace or heat pump is ready to stand up to the tough conditions faced throughout the winter season.