With the forecast predicting extremely high winds and significant precipitation, it’s crucial to ensure your heat pump system is prepared for the storm. At Reliable Heat Pump Services, we’re committed to providing you with the best advice to keep your system running efficiently and safely. Here’s what you need to know to protect your heat pump during adverse weather conditions:

The Risks of Covering Your Outdoor Unit

  • Avoid Covering the Unit: It is NOT recommended to cover your outdoor unit with tarps or any similar materials. Such coverings can cause damage by squashing the casing or bending the coil fins. Additionally, in high winds, these materials can become potential hazards if they come loose.

Monitoring Your Heat Pump

  • Regular Checks: We suggest safely monitoring your heat pump throughout the storm. Ensure the unit is not encased with snow or suffering from excessive snow/ice buildup under, around, or on the outdoor unit.

For Mini-Split Heat Pump Systems

  • High Winds and Fan Motor Errors: High winds may lead to fan motor errors, displayed on the indoor unit. Most systems will halt operation and display error codes to prevent damage. If you encounter an error code, likely a fan motor error, it’s best to turn off your indoor unit and the breaker for the unit in your electrical panel. Resort to a backup heating source until it’s safe to clear any obstructions.

For Central Ducted Systems

  • Monitoring and Emergency Heat: Unlike mini-splits, central systems may not display error codes for fan obstructions. If you notice difficulty maintaining temperature, check the outdoor unit for ice/snow buildup. Switching to Emergency Heat via your thermostat will halt the outdoor unit, relying instead on the auxiliary heat within the air handler.

Power Outages

  • Precautions: In the event of a power outage, turn off the unit at the breaker to prevent the system from trying to re-engage upon power restoration, which could harm the unit if it’s encased in ice/snow. Before reactivating, ensure the outdoor unit is clear of any obstructions.

Clearing Ice/Snow Buildup

  1. Safety First: Ensure the breaker is turned OFF before attempting to clear snow or ice.
  2. Remove Snow Carefully: Shovel snow away from around and under the system, avoiding damage to the unit.
  3. Melt Ice Safely: Pour warm water over any ice buildup. Do NOT attempt to chip away at the ice or remove any panels.
  4. Restarting Your System: Once clear, turn the breaker on and set your system to its normal heating operation.

Frequent Defrost Cycles

  • A Necessary Process: You may notice your heat pump undergoing more frequent defrost cycles. This is normal and necessary for the system to combat the additional precipitation on the outdoor coil.

Seeking Professional Help

  • Persistent Issues: If issues persist after taking these steps, or if you’re uncomfortable performing any of these actions, contact a certified professional for service. We prioritize customers with units installed by us but will do our best to accommodate all service requests.

At Reliable Heat Pump Services, we understand the challenges extreme weather can pose. We’re here to support you in protecting your investment and ensuring your comfort through every season. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Due to the high volume of inquiries, response times may vary, but we’re committed to serving you as quickly as possible.

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