5 Ways to Keep Your Furnace Safe from Snow and Ice

Posted: 2022-02-03

Every homeowner knows that winter is the most trying time of the year to maintain a house, with nearly every part of it affected by the extreme weather conditions. One piece of equipment that can be damaged by snow and ice is your furnace, especially its exhaust pipe. Its position makes it susceptible to getting clogged with snow or ice.

When this happens, your house will have a limited supply of heated air, and may even cause a concentrated amount of carbon monoxide to be released in your home.

With that in mind, Four Seasons Air Specialists gives you 5 tips to protect your furnace from snow and ice damage. As your trusted heating company in Grant MN, we aim to provide you with information and support to help you keep your family safe.

Avoid Snow or Ice Buildup

The easiest way to protect your HVAC unit from damage resulting from the accumulation of snow and ice is to maintain a clear space along the perimeter of your unit. Clear a space that is at least 18 inches all around the unit. Also, keep the top and sides of the unit unobstructed. When you take away the ice from your unit, avoid using sharp objects so you don’t damage the coils and fins. Moreover, cut off any tree branches surrounding the outdoor unit. Doing so will avoid the possibility of the branches falling off, damaging your HVAC system.

Check the unit visually.

A simple visual inspection of your HVAC system can help you determine the next steps you need to take. Check the internal and external portions of your furnace, including the ducts and registers. See to it that the venting pipe is properly attached and angled rightly. Check the blower belt and identify if there are any cracks. For your safety, do not forget to turn off the power to the system at the circuit breaker first. Use a screwdriver to remove the steel cover of the air handler. The blower belt is the largest rubber belt in the system.

If you discover cracks, wonky connections, and leaks in the ductwork, call your local HVAC company since visible problems in the ducts can be part of a more serious problem.

Also, be sure to check the system's combustion unit. If you can smell a strong odor (like a rotten egg), it could mean that the furnace has a gas leak somewhere. This issue requires professional help.

Avoid blocking the exhaust.

As your furnace burns fuel, it produces carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, but deadly gas. It gets piped to the outdoors via the furnace exhaust. With snowstorms, your furnace exhaust pipe can become blocked with snow, causing carbon monoxide to flow back into your house.

While most modern furnaces have safety features that will turn the unit off as soon as the exhaust pipe is blocked, it's still recommended to spot the problem early. Your furnace shutting down is the last thing you’d want in the midst of a cold winter night. Therefore, spend some time clearing out the exhaust pipe whenever you have a big snowstorm.

Keep the vent spaces clear.

When it comes to HVAC upkeep, It’s not uncommon for some homeowners to forget to clean the vent openings. But keep in mind that heated air enters the indoor environment through these vents. If there are stumbling blocks like furniture or clothes in front of a vent, the system will not circulate hot air as it should. Obstructed vents may even result in HVAC failure. So, to ensure your heating system works smoothly, keep the vent spaces open.

Get professional HVAC help.

To get the best care for your furnace, consider calling a qualified professional. He possesses the knowledge and skills to ensure your system stays in tip-top shape. He will inspect every part of your furnace—from the motor to electrical connections to other components. He can identify issues and correct them even before they become more serious problems.

Work Only with Legit Heating Pros

Four Seasons Air Specialists has been in the HVAC business for over four decades. Our teams of heating professionals have years of experience and factory training, guaranteeing top-notch workmanship. We are your leading Mahtomedi heating and air conditioning repair company.