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Snow on Outdoor Condensers and Furnace Vents

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Snow on Outdoor Condensers and Furnace Vents

Winter is officially here, and that means residential heating systems will be in full operation. It’s important at this time of the year to take a few precautions with your heater. One of these precautions to check on snowfall outside your home to see that it isn’t interfering with the heater. If you have a gas furnace or a heat pump, there are ways that snow buildup can create issues with the heating system.

Snow blocking furnace vents

If you use a gas furnace to heat your home—which is the type of heating system that most homes use—then you must make sure that the vents to the outside are clear of blockage. Snow is the specific issue you’ll encounter during the winter. Many furnaces vent through chimneys in the roof, but more and more are using lateral vents for both air intake and exhaust. After a heavy snowfall, or a windstorm that may have caused snow drifts to move, look around the outside of your house to see if either the fresh air intakes or the exhaust pipes have become blocked. If you have a high-efficiency furnace, look for a white plastic pipe coming from the side of the home: this is the fresh air intake, and if it’s blocked it will severely reduce energy efficiency. Blocked exhaust vents can create a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Snow along outdoor cabinets of heat pumps

If you have a heat pump taking care of your winter comfort, you need to see that the outdoor unit isn’t covered in a mound of snow, or that a snowdrift isn’t pressed up against the grill blocking the refrigerant coil from absorbing heat. It’s fine if you see a bit of ice developing along the outdoor coil, as this is a normal occurrence due to the way that the heat pump operates. A defrost cycle will melt this ice off in an hour or so.

If you need assistance with your heating system, you can always count on Dynamic Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning. We’ve served Hartford and New Haven Counties for a decade!

Tags: Heating Repair New Haven

December 28, 2015 | Categories: Heating Service

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