How to Protect Your Home Heating System From Ice and Snow

Winter is here. For those in colder climates, this means that homeowners can expect a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain for months-on-end. Because of the damage that the elements can do to a home’s heating system, it is important for homeowners to know how to deal with winter weather and how to protect their HVAC systems.

Here are some of common questions that homeowners have about their HVAC systems during the winter months:

Is it okay for my heat pump to have ice on it?

A heat pump that has iced up on a very cold day is a normal phenomenon. It is also normal for light ice or frost to cover a heat pump’s coil or the unit itself. With that being said, excessive ice buildup (usually occurring after a big winter storm) is not healthy for your HVAC system. It is very important that the snow or ice is removed promptly in order to ensure that your unit receive proper airflow.

To clear your unit from ice and snow, turn your thermostat off or to emergency heat prior to removing the ice and snow. One way to engage in ice or snow removal is to pour hot water over your unit.

What is a defrost cycle and should I use it?

Making sure that your HVAC system works during the winter months is essential. Periodically checking your outside unit for frost buildup is wise. If you find that frost is building up on your unit, using your systems defrost cycle can be beneficial. It should be used for a long enough period of time to melt the ice that is on the unit.

Can snow or ice buildup hurt my heating system?

Yes. The biggest issue that can occur when too much snow or ice builds up is that the emergency shut-off is enacted. This then causes the heat to be cut off from the home, which then leads to the bursting of pipes.

Another problem caused by too much snow or ice buildup is that your unit will work overtime which will increase your utility bills and will cause more wear on your heating system.

Whatever your heating system needs are this winter, Cascade Mechanical is here to help. For heating system inspections, maintenance, or repairs, call Cascade Mechanical today at (509) 642-6383 to speak with a certified HVAC technician for a free proposal.