Common Types of Winter Storm Damage to HVAC Systems

Winter storms can severely damage your HVAC system. As a homeowner, you’re not expected to keep an eye on your HVAC system at all times. However, knowing how to recognize signs of storm damage can give you the time you need to call for timely repairs and avoid further damage. In today’s post, Stone Heating and Air discusses the most common types of winter storm damage to HVAC systems.

Storm Damage to HVAC Systems

Falling ice. A heavy winter storm can deposit a thick layer of snow on the roof, which can pose the risk of damage when it melts and forms icicles at the roof’s edge. Since HVAC systems are typically located under the roofline, an icicle breaking off can cause significant damage. It can also injure anyone who happens to be under the roofline when an icicle breaks.

You can protect your HVAC system’s outdoor unit by placing a wood awning or shelter over it. Make sure that there’s enough clearance between the unit and the barrier to allow for air circulation. If icicles are a persistent problem, you need to address the underlying causes — poor roof insulation and ventilation.

Snow blockage. As described above, air circulation is essential for an HVAC system to work properly. This means your system’s outdoor unit shouldn’t be covered when it’s in use. Sometimes, snow that’s fallen off your roof or been driven by the wind can pile up on the HVAC unit and cover the vents, which can increase its workload and stress the refrigerant lines. After a winter storm, make it a point to clear any amount of snow or debris off the top of your HVAC unit.

Poor drainage. A properly-installed HVAC system should sit on a platform that reduces vibrations and helps protect the base from dirt and moisture. The platform should also be raised enough that the unit won’t be sitting in water as the snow, which can pile up high after a winter storm,  melts around it. If water backs up into the HVAC unit, this can lead to malfunctions and corrosion. In addition to clearing snow from around your HVAC unit after a winter storm, you should make sure that the areas around the unit have proper drainage.

Stone Heating and Air is your leading provider of HVAC services. Give us a call at (541) 855-5521. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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