It’s not winter in Indianapolis without snow. Fortunately, you have your HVAC system to keep you warm. What if you have a heat pump, though, with an outdoor unit? Can snow affect your system? Here’s how a weighty snowfall can impact your heating.

Effects of a Weighty Snowfall

Your HVAC system is designed to withstand outdoor conditions. However, when the weather gets more extreme, such as during a weighty snowfall, there may be problems. Your heat pump’s condenser coil needs to be able to breathe. Too much snow, and the coil can freeze, restricting airflow and making heat transfer less efficient. When that happens, the heat pump needs to work harder than normal, using more energy and eventually burning out. Snow buildup can also weigh on the condenser coil’s fins, causing them to bend, which results in odd noises during operation.

Heat pumps do have defrost cycles, which are designed to prevent freezing under ordinary conditions. However, if the snowfall gets too heavy, it can overwhelm the system, so defrosting doesn’t work properly. With enough snow, the coil could corrode, causing permanent damage. It could even cover your system completely, causing an emergency shut-off and leaving you without heat in the dead of winter.

Dealing with a Weighty Snowfall

What can you do to to stop this? You can’t prevent the snow, but you can do some maintenance and take some other preventative measures. Clean the snow out of the coils after a particularly weighty snowfall, being careful to not bend the fins. You can also put the heat pump under a roof or awning to protect it from snow altogether.

Finally, be sure to schedule your annual maintenance visit. Your HVAC technician will check your heat pump thoroughly at the start of the season to be sure it’s operating at peak efficiency. This will help guard against problems later on so you can remain warm and comfortable all winter.

A weighty snowfall isn’t the only thing that can affect your HVAC system. For help keeping it working efficiently all year, contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve Indianapolis’ home-comfort needs.

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