Homeowners in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding areas know how brutal it can be to live uncomfortably in a cold home with no functioning heating system. After the Winter Freeze of 2021, much of Central Texas experienced freezing temperatures with major loss of power and heating systems, resulting in extreme discomfort and in some cases, fatal conditions. To ensure that your heating system is prepared to endure this winter and those in the future, there are some steps you should take to winterize your heating system. There are different kinds of heating systems used around the country, but in Central Texas, we primarily utilize gas furnaces and heat pumps. In this post from Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing Blog, we’ll discuss the best ways to winterize your heat pump so you can enjoy warm air throughout the winter.
When it comes to winterizing your heat pump from inside your home, the steps are similar to general all-season HVAC care. First, ensure that your air filter is regularly replaced to ensure sufficient airflow at all times. Insufficient airflow means that the HVAC system has to work harder to push air, resulting in living areas not getting the amount of air that they need. A programmable thermostat is a convenient way to schedule a comfortable temperature set point to fit the activity in the home. At Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing, we’ve installed countless programmable thermostats in Austin and the surrounding areas. Programmable thermostats allow the unit to change the temperature automatically, whether it be at a set time or when the home reaches a set temperature. Additionally, a WIFI-enabled thermostat allows the user to adjust settings from any smart device inside the home or on the way home!
Before the winter season is in full swing, it’s a good idea to get your heat pump inspected by a professional, like the team here at Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing. Our heating and cooling professionals can often identify issues with your heat pump that may result in a malfunction when heating your home. Our heating experts know the importance of having peace of mind that your system is ready to heat your home, and are available to provide a thorough 30-point inspection of your system.
Winterizing your heat pump from outside your home can become a little tricky. The moisture of any kind during freezing temperatures, whether it be from snow or rain, can result in issues with heat pumps.
If the fans on the outdoor condenser are physically blocked by ice or snow and are unable to turn then your heat pump will not be fully operational. If this occurs, it’s best to run the “Emergency Heat” setting on your heat pump if available, which eliminates the chance of the fan blade and motor becoming damaged. The emergency heat setting utilizes the “second stage” of your heat pump, also known as supplemental heat. Different systems utilize this Emergency heat setting in different ways, and not all systems have this setting available. These issues usually occur only during freezing temperatures, so once the temperature is above freezing, and any ice or snow-packed around the fan has been eliminated, it’s safe to turn your system back to standard heat operation. Water runoff from the roof can be a hazard to heat pumps. Install a gutter or rainwater diverter on the roof to reduce the amount of water that falls into the unit.
Now that you know how to keep your heat pump system operational throughout the winter, you should be ready for roasting chestnuts by the open fire. But, if you think there may be an issue with your heat pump, schedule an HVAC inspection with our team today!
At Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing, we’ve been helping the residents of Austin stay warm every winter since 1954. If need to replace or repair your heat pump in Austin, give us a call today to schedule your service. Our HVAC technicians and standing by and eager to help!