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How to Handle HVAC Breakdowns in Cold Weather

Woman in winter coat and hat shivering next to broken heater on the phone.

As the temperatures drop during the winter, the risk of HVAC system breakdowns rises. You need to know what to do when your HVAC system breaks down to help you get through the cold season with peace of mind. In this blog, we look at why HVAC systems break down in cold weather and instruct you on how to handle breakdowns. We also offer tips on preventing HVAC system failures during the winter.

Why HVAC System Breakdowns Are More Common in Winter

Several factors why HVAC systems  break down more in cold weather. Neglected HVAC systems are more prone to breakdowns, especially during demanding winter conditions. Lack of regular maintenance can result in dirty filters and worn-out components. These decrease the system efficiency and cause it to break down. Winter weather often leads to increased dust and debris in the air. If the filters in your HVAC system become clogged, it can restrict airflow. It puts a strain on the system and can cause a breakdown. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes, coils, and other parts of your system to freeze. This can lead to restricted airflow, inefficient heating, and even complete system failure. Cold weather can also put extra strain on electrical connections and components. Faulty wiring, loose connections, or damaged electrical parts can result in system breakdowns.

What to Do When Your HVAC System Breaks Down in Winter

Experiencing an HVAC system breakdown during cold weather can be stressful. But, there are steps you can take to handle the situation. First, you have to stay warm. Layer up with warm clothing and blankets. You want to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home while you address the issue. Next, inspect your HVAC system for any visible signs of damage or malfunctions. Look for loose connections, tripped breakers, or unusual noises. If you can’t fix the issue yourself, reach out to a licensed HVAC technician to diagnose and repair the issue. Professional expertise is crucial to ensure proper repairs and prevent further damage. If the repair process takes time, consider space heaters or other heating methods. You need to keep specific areas of your home warm while waiting for completed repairs.

How to Prevent HVAC System Breakdowns This Winter

You have to take preventive measures to reduce HVAC system breakdowns in the winter.

  • Schedule Regular Maintenance. Arrange for professional HVAC maintenance before the winter season begins. Regular maintenance includes cleaning, inspecting, and tuning up your system. This can help to ensure optimal performance.
  • Replace Filters Often. Check and replace your HVAC system’s air filters often. This is especially helpful during the winter when dust and debris levels tend to be higher. Clean filters allow for proper airflow and reduce strain on the system.
  • Check Thermostat Settings. Set your thermostat to a reasonable temperature and avoid constant adjustments. Drastic temperature changes put extra stress on your HVAC system. This can increase the risk of breakdowns.
  • Ensure Proper Insulation. Insulating your home to reduce heat loss and reduce the workload on your HVAC system. Seal gaps and insulate windows and doors. Consider adding insulation to attics and crawl spaces.
  • Clear Surrounding Areas. Keep the area around your HVAC system clear of debris, snow, and ice. Blocked vents or obstructions can disrupt airflow and strain the system.

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HVAC system breakdowns in cold weather are a common concern. But with certain preventive measures, you can reduce the risks during the winter. Regular maintenance and vigilant care are key to handling breakdowns when they happen. You can prevent breakdowns and enjoy reliable heating throughout the winter months. If your HVAC system breaks down this winter, contact the experts at Cahill Heating, Cooling, Electric, Plumbing & Sewer.

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