It’s only February; we still have a couple of months of cold weather ahead of us! But don’t let that catch you off guard; as a homeowner, you should have a backup plan in place in case you’re stuck at home due to a snowstorm, your furnace breaks down, or the power goes out. You never know what winter HVAC emergencies may occur due to inclement weather. Nobody wants to be left shivering in the cold, so follow these tips from Eastland Heating & Cooling to stay warm and safe no matter what the weather throws at you this season. 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IN FRIGID WEATHER TO PREPARE FOR WINTER HVAC EMERGENCIES?  

First, if possible, invest in a generator to provide power for your HVAC system and other essential appliances in case of an outage. There are many models to choose from, and you can select one best based on your budget and household needs. Another great backup plan is to have a couple of portable heaters on hand. Just make sure not to leave them unattended for long periods.   

If you have a fireplace, consider stockpiling firewood and fire starters for emergency use. The last thing you want is when a snowstorm is rolling in to have to go out to fetch some firewood. Therefore, you should have a fair amount of firewood set aside that is specifically meant for emergencies.  

Next, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love snuggling up under a warm blanket on a cold winter day? So, keep a few extra blankets stored in an easily accessible location for those times when the temperature dips. If you’re one of those people who seems to have a never-ending extra pile of blankets – good for you! Simply sort the ones you can save for emergencies and tuck them away in a specified area. As a plus, extra blankets and towels can be draped over windows to provide an extra layer of warmth on those vividly cold snow days!  

WHAT ARE SOME HANDY WAYS TO OPTIMIZE THE EXISTING HEAT IN YOUR HOME?  

To optimize the existing heat in your home, take some time to give your indoor vents a little extra attention. You are looking for all vents to be left open and unobstructed. Nothing should be restricting the vents’ line of airflow – including furniture or objects placed in front of the vents (I.e., boxes, hampers, trashcans, etc.).   

As an extra precaution, to insulate the existing warmth in your home, go ahead and close all your blinds and draw your window treatments together to create a barrier that will prevent the warm air from seeping outside.  

WHAT ARE SOME ADDITIONAL WAYS TO MAXIMIZE THE EFFICIENCY OF YOUR HVAC SYSTEM IN HARSH WEATHER?  

As part of your snow shoveling routine, don’t forget to check your outdoor heat pump if you have one. Most heat pumps come with a defrosting feature, but with Ohio’s relentless weather, snow or ice buildup can still accumulate on top of the heat pump. Thus, if you find any buildup, you may carefully brush off the snow or ice with a broom.  

Think about those outdoor vents. Although exterior vents are located outside, they still need some much-needed attention. If snow or ice is allowed to build up over these vents, it can reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. Just like your heat pump, you can gently clear away snow and ice from the exterior vents with a brush or broom.  

Finally, if you have a gas meter, include them in your snow shoveling/snow removal routine as well. Again, you may use a broom or brush to clear off the gas meter but be careful not to hit or kick it hard in an attempt to loosen the snow/ice buildup. Keep in mind, you should never use a shovel or snowblower to remove snow or ice from any of these components. It should always be done carefully and with caution. Otherwise, you risk causing damage to your heat pump, exterior vents, or gas meter, which would contradict the whole purpose behind snow and ice maintenance removal. Being cautious is always the best route!  

Follow these tips, and you’ll be prepared for any winter HVAC emergencies. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to Eastland Heating & Cooling today at (614) 861-5203 or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!  

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