Whether you were ready for it or not, Winter Storm Stella certainly packed a punch last week. And while, of course, your first priority is to ensure the safety of your family and your home, another important factor to consider is how your HVAC systems were affected.
Whether you use a heat pump, ductless system, or central air conditioner, you have an outdoor unit that may require attention and quality Reston, VA HVAC repairs. We’ve shared some information below as to why a winter storm can be so detrimental for these systems, and how to properly care for them after a storm such as this has occurred.
Inclement Weather and Your HVAC Unit
You don’t necessarily need to worry about the moisture brought on by a heavy winter storm; after all rain does not affect an outdoor unit. Rather what you should be concerned about is heavy winds and storm conditions causing falling objects such as tree branches. This can damage your condenser fan and allow debris inside the unit.
After a severe storm such as the one we’ve just experienced, it’s important to check the exterior component of your heat pump or central HVAC unit. It’s also important to remember that standing water can affect the unit as well. As the snow melts, if it is not allowed proper drainage, it can harm electrical components or moving parts.
Before a storm of this nature, or just in general during wintertime, you may want to consider purchasing a cover for your outside unit. We recommend that you not try to create your own cover, as something that is too tight subjects internal components to continuous moisture for months, which can lead to rusting, corrosion, and even the development of mold.
It’s natural during the winter months for a heat pump to develop a light coating of frost on the sides. The defrost mode that kicks in automatically removes the frost naturally. However, if you notice a heavy coat of ice, or the coils are encased in ice, then you have a problem on your hands.
This type of ice development prevents the transfer of heat between the refrigerant and the outside air, therefore restricting the operation of your heat pump system. Neglecting this problem can end up causing irreparable damage to the unit—ice can damage the fan blades and other components, eventually leading to compressor failure.
It’s crucial to remember that you should never try to remove ice on your own, especially using a hard or pointy object to do it. The coils are fairly delicate and can be easily damaged if not handled by a professional. Additionally, removing the ice does not solve the root of the problem. Our professionals need to take a look and find out if it truly is just the inclement weather that caused you to have this issue, or if a refrigerant leak or other operational problem is to blame.
At AllTech Services, Inc. we take pride in being a value-based business. Please contact us today for more HVAC care advice and superior products and services.