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How Ice & Snow Impacts HVAC Units

hvac unit covered in snow

As you enter a snowy, icy Central Illinois winter season, you should consider the elements’ impacts on HVAC equipment and operations. As a resident of Peoria, Downs, Towanda, Bloomington-Normal, and the surrounding areas, you know that snow buildup can reach extreme levels. Here are potential adverse effects to recognize and avoid this year:

  1. Don’t block your furnace exhaust. If snow piles up and blocks this, your unit may malfunction or trap harmful chemicals in your home. Luckily, furnaces do shut off for safety reasons if the exhaust gets stopped. With that, your home is not receiving heat, and you must troubleshoot to get it running correctly. Removing snow from this area before any heavy buildup and emergency shut down happens is a helpful preventative measure.
  2. Protect your AC unit from physical damage. When icicles are stuck in your home, they pose a risk to your HVAC unit because they could fall and bend or damage a part. Additionally, heavy snow can bend coils or fans, leading to HVAC repairs and replacements.
  3. Avoid covering your air conditioning unit. Although placing a cover over the outdoor unit may seem tempting, it can trap moisture and harm the coils. Unrestricted airflow is best. Just remember to remove excessive piles of snow.
  4. Prevent rusted and corroded parts. Snow is a rust accelerator because the water could run into your unit, freeze, and expand. As this unwanted process occurs, parts in your unit will rust, ultimately affecting their performance and deeming replacement parts necessary.

To protect the lifespan of your units, clean them off as you shovel after a heavy snow. Adding this to your shoveling routine makes you less likely to forget this vital step. Enrolling in a maintenance plan can ensure your unit’s parts are maintained and inspected multiple times a year, extending their lives. As always, contact Custom Air Company if you have any questions or concerns about this winter. 

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