How Storms Can Damage Your New York Home’s HVAC System

December 20, 2021
HVAC Storm Damage in Orchard Park, NY

New York is known for experiencing all four seasons each year. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see ice, snow and rain within a few hours of each other. Although it may be fun to watch snow or ice fall from the sky, it can wreak havoc with your home’s HVAC components. The same may also be true after a major rain event or during lengthy periods of consistent precipitation. Let’s take a look at the specific ways that a storm can damage a furnace, central air condenser or a heat pump.

How Can Precipitation Damage a Heat Pump?

Unlike a traditional furnace, a heat pump will typically be located outside. It is usually buried just below the ground where it transfers natural heat to your home’s interior. Although this item is designed to withstand the elements, it is not indestructible.

Ideally, you will shovel the area around this component after a major snowstorm or clear any ice that might build up around it. Otherwise, the weight of the snow or ice could cause it to break. At a minimum, it will force this component to work harder than it needs to, which could cause it to wear out faster than it should.

How Might Precipitation Cause Damage to a Furnace or Central Air System?

If water leaks into your basement, there is a chance that it could seep into your furnace. This could cause significant damage to any electrical wires that allow this component to keep your home at a comfortable temperature each year. Water may also cause fans, motors or similar parts to rust or otherwise stop working properly.

As with a heat pump, a condenser unit is typically kept outside, which means that it will be exposed to ice, rain and snow throughout the year. Although it is also designed to withstand the elements, water can still get inside of it and cause it to malfunction.

In some cases, it could be damaged during periods of calm and humid weather as the air will have a significant moisture content. It’s also possible that a broken condenser will allow water to pool or pond inside of it, which can cause a variety of problems.

High Winds Associated With a Storm Could Also Be Dangerous

It’s not uncommon for major storms to generate gusty winds that could be as fast as 50 miles an hour. This is generally fast enough to knock over trees, power lines and other relatively large objects that aren’t tied down. If a tree branch falls onto the condenser unit in your yard, it could result in large cracks, dents or other impairments. It’s also possible that the unit itself will tip or be lifted by the wind.

A heat pump that is hit by a flying object will also be vulnerable to damage even if it is slightly underground. It may also be tipped, flipped or otherwise moved by an especially severe wind gust.

A Power Outage Might Cause Issues With Your Furnace

If the power goes out during a storm, you may be without your main source of heat for several hours or days. In most cases, the furnace will simply start running again when the power is restored to your home. However, there is a chance that a power surge could cause your heating system to remain turned off or to operate in an inconsistent fashion. This may be true despite the fact that most furnaces are powered by gas as opposed to electricity.

In the event that your furnace is not running properly after a power outage, call the folks at Vastola Heating & Cooling in Erie County for help. We can inspect a heat pump, repair a furnace or take a look at your home’s power generator in a timely and professional manner. We can also help with any cooling system issues that you might be experiencing after a significant weather event.

If your HVAC system has been impacted by a major weather event, don’t hesitate to call Vastola Heating & Cooling today! In addition to maintaining your home’s heating or cooling systems, we can also install smart thermostats, water heaters and snow melting systems. These tools can help keep your home comfortable and better prepared to withstand the elements. We serve communities throughout Erie County, including Buffalo, Orchard Park, Lockport and Niagara Falls.