During extreme cold weather and snow events, it is important to prepare your home accordingly. Clearing heat pumps, exhaust vents and air intakes of any snow or ice buildup can help ensure safe system operation. Additionally, it pays to know the do's and don'ts when dealing with wintry weather. Familiarizing yourself with preventative maintenance tasks can end up saving you a lot of worry in the long run. Preparation is key during these conditions, so make sure you're ready for whatever comes your way!
Preparing for Snowy / Freezing Weather
- Run your boiler! Do not run mini-splits or pellet stoves as primary heat if we have repeated days below 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 °C). Without periodically cycling your boiler, you are risking burst or frozen pipes.
- Antifreeze your boiler, if you intend to leave it off during cold weather events.
- Replace your antifreeze every few years to ensure its effectiveness and reduce wear and tear.
- Ensure your heating equipment is maintained annually.
- Do not schedule large temperature setbacks on your thermostats, especially with heat pumps. Heat pumps are not designed to recover from large temperature swings.
- Most NH homes are designed to heat to 72 degrees when the temperature outside is as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.78 °C). Your heating system may not be able to keep up in extreme negative temperatures. This is normal and you should monitor it.
- Do not run your heat pump on a generator. We have seen heat pump and high-end furnace damage caused by generators with poor voltage regulation.
- Clear all air intakes to appliances (Furnaces, Boilers, Water Heaters, ERVs, Etc.)
- Shut off the water supply and drain all outdoor faucets and sillcocks.
- Clear all appliance exhaust vents (Furnaces, Boilers, Water Heaters, Dryers, Pellet Stoves, Etc.)
- Install CO detectors in your home.
- If your heat goes out, turn your faucets on. Flowing water, even slow drips, takes longer to freeze.
- If your heat / power is out for an extended period of time, drain the water in your home to prevent burst pipes.
- Open cabinet doors to any faucet located on an outside wall.
- Gently clear snow and debris from around heat pumps to ensure adequate air flow.
- If your heat is out, shut your shades and minimize door entry/exit to retain as much heat as possible.