10 Tips to Prepare Your Home HVAC System for Big Winter Storms

10 Tips to Prepare for Big Winter Storms

When preparing for the upcoming winter storms, here are some tips to keep your home HVAC system working in tip-top shape!

  • Keep your home’s exhaust pipes clear of snow and ice.
  • Insulate any vulnerable pipes. Wrap them with insulation sleeves to prevent freezing.
  • If you haven’t already, turn off all outdoor water lines (to hoses and outdoor spigots).
  • If any pipes get frozen and burst, turn off your water supply to that pipe and drain it by opening the faucets. Leave faucets open until you can get the pipe repaired.
  • If you have an oil tank, make sure that you have enough oil to last. Delivery trucks may not be able to make a delivery during a storm, and they may become backed up for deliveries, causing a further delay of several days. It is a best practice to not let your oil tank drop below ¼ tank anyway – this reduces the amount of sludge that gets pulled from the bottom of your oil tank.
  • If you have an emergency generator make sure that you have enough fuel to last several days in the event of electricity outages.
  • Never run a portable generator indoors, including garages. The internal engine releases carbon monoxide (or CO) which is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly. Run your generator outside only, and place it where the exhaust fumes cannot enter the home through air intakes, vents, windows or other sources.
  • Do not wire your portable generator directly into the home’s wiring, and do not plug it into an electrical outlet in your home or garage. Doing this can “back feed” power into the electric system, which could injure or kill utility workers trying to restore power lines. Read all manufacturer’s directions for the safe operation of your portable generator.
  • Be sure to clear the snow and ice from your outdoor units to keep your home warm and prevent costly repairs. - Heavy snow build up can cause failures in condensing units and heat pumps by restricting air flow. The buildup of snow and ice can also prevent the unit from properly defrosting, which can significantly shorten the lifespan of your system.
  • Don’t forget to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. You should change the batteries in each at least twice a year and test to make sure they are still working.

And, while you’ve got that shovel handy, don’t forget to clear any fire hydrants near your property!

Our technicians stand ready for emergency calls 24/7. Should an issue arise, call our offices for assistance. 1-833-980-3496. www.ugihvac.com