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Can Snow and Ice Damage Your HVAC System?

When it comes to your home, winter is far from the charming season we all know and love. It’s actually the most trying time of the year for a house, with nearly every part of it affected by harsh wintry conditions. While the roof and exterior cladding may be the first to be affected, your HVAC system isn’t exactly safe from the cold, ice and snow of winter.

At WM Buffington Company, Inc., we offer heating and insulation installation services. In this post, we discuss how snow and ice can potentially damage your HVAC system and what you can do about it.

Snow and Sleet

Exterior HVAC units are at risk from snow, especially when it starts accumulating on top of the exterior component of the system. We don’t recommend putting a cover on your outdoor units, however, as this can hinder proper ventilation and lead to moisture buildup, rust and corrosion. Fortunately, the solution is pretty straightforward - simply brush off the snow when it starts to pile too high.

Frozen Pipes

Pipes that freeze up will cause blockages which will eventually back up toward the source. This in turn may cause operational problems. You can prevent this issue by installing insulation on pipes located in the colder regions of your home, such as in the attic, basement and garage.

Proper Ventilation

Standard fuel-burning furnaces and heat pump systems have an exhaust pipe that eventually goes up to the roof or close to the foundation. Unfortunately, the way it’s angled makes it susceptible to getting blocked by snow or ice formed by meltwater.

In addition to limiting the amount of heat your house receives, it may also cause a potentially deadly buildup of carbon monoxide. Locate the exhaust pipe and clear any blockages, then brush off the snow and use a hot washcloth to defrost any ice buildup.

For more serious concerns, we recommend getting in touch with us so you can take advantage of our winter plumbing services. Whether it’s a busted pipe or a furnace that just won’t start, WM Buffington Company will address your HVAC concerns so your home stays comfortable during the winter. Call us today at (717) 609-4020 to learn more about our services. Our insulation installation services are available throughout Harrisburg, PA.

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