It’s that season – winter, ice, and snow. Staying safe and warm, and prepping your home for snow is not hard; it just takes a little planning. So, here are some important tips to make sure your home is ready for a snowstorm, plus answers to specific questions.
What to Do Before, During & After a Snowstorm
- Keep Salt/De-Icers On-Hand
Whether you use salt or calcium chloride depends upon preference, community requirements, etc. but whatever you use, make sure to stock up well before the storm so that you will not have to worry about stores being sold-out.
- Spread Rock Salt/Ice Melt Early
Put down rock salt/ice melt a few hours before the storm. Road crews do that for a reason – it will activate when the snow starts and begin to melt on contact.
- Store Rock Salt/Ice Melt Inside
Keep your de-icer or salt inside. If you store it outside and any moisture gets in, it’ll freeze into a block and you won’t be able to use it.
- Check Your Gutters
They should have been cleaned after all the leaves came down in the fall. Check again before a big snowstorm to make sure nothing is blocked, which could cause a leak.
- Test Your Snow Blower
Make sure your snow blower is accessible and that you test it to make sure that it runs. Also, make sure you have enough gas for it and pull out your snow shovel while you’re at it.
How Does Snow Affect Your HVAC System?
HVAC refers to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Because it’s not just one thing, snow will affect the various components differently. For example, a furnace or boiler won’t really be affected by the snow because it’s contained inside. You just have to make sure that the air vent isn’t blocked by snow.
Air conditioners are built to withstand wind, rain, and snow so they’re usually fine. A cover can provide additional protection.
How to Protect a Heat Pump from Snow and Ice
A heat pump is more complicated. Their efficiency drastically decreases if covered in snow, so they have a defrost function, but clearing the snow from it manually is a smart idea.
Keep a 2-foot gap around the heat pump for best results. Never use anything sharp to clear ice or snow from the heat pump, or else you could damage the unit. Turn your heat pump off while removing snow and debris from it.
Should You Cover an AC in Winter?
Covering your AC unit isn’t necessary because they are made to endure all sorts of weather. A AC cover can provide additional protection – so long as it is not watertight. Because it’s virtually impossible to truly seal the air conditioner away from all water, watertight covers can trap moisture and cause rust.
Tragar Can Keep Your House Safe & Warm
Tragar is your winter heating ally. Whether you need maintenance, heating oil or BioHeat, a new heating system, or any other heating installations or services, Tragar Home Services has been keeping Long Islanders warm for over 60 years.