We are blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest known for it’s beautiful outdoors and generally moderate climate. Despite our moderate Pacific Northwest seasons, there are still weather and environmental factors that can negatively impact your heating and air conditioning system. Your HVAC system is a durable piece of equipment, but there are steps you can take to further protect your system and hopefully save yourself a repair call. Read our top tips for Pacific Northwest weather patterns below:
1. Rain & Flooding
The Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR areas experience a lot of rain during the Fall, Winter and Spring Pacific Northwest seasons. Rain only becomes harmful to your heating and cooling system when it leads to flooding. If the water around your outdoor unit is under 15 inches, then it probably will not harm your system. Water can damage your outdoor unit, especially it’s electrical parts, if it’s more than 15 inches around your outdoor unit.
If the water exceeds 15 inches, immediately turn off your entire HVAC system and do not turn it back on until after the flooding has ended. A trained HVAC professional will need to assess your system before you can safely turn your HVAC system back on. Miller’s Heating & Air have 24/7 emergency service and 8 service technicians ready to help you with your HVAC needs.
2. Wind Storms
From time to time Clark County and Multnomah County can experience wind storms though this is more common in the Columbia River Gorge and it’s surrounding cities. Towns that can often experience high winds include, but are not limited to Stevenson, Washougal, Camas and Fairview. The number one issue with wind storms is debris.
Heavier debris such as tree branches can damage the outside metal of your outdoor unit. Smaller debris such as leaves can blown into smaller places within your outdoor unit blocking air flow. If high winds are on the forecast move outdoor furniture inside. In addition, we recommend routinely trimming trees and bushes nearby the outdoor unit; this will help to protect your HVAC unit both doing wind storms as well as during the Fall. After a wind storm, inspect your outdoor unit for any damage. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us.
3. Snow Storms
Some winters we get more snow than others, but it’s always good to be prepared with winter tips. The best months to service heating system is in the Fall before the cold weather hits. Ensure that your outdoor unit is not covered with snow as this will block airflow. We recommend shoveling snow from around your outdoor unit so that 3-5 feet around the unit is clear. This will help your system run efficiently as the airflow won’t be blocked. Make sure that your gutters aren’t blocked with snow, ice and/or debris. The overflow from blocked gutters can fall into your outdoor unit. Icicles that fall into your outdoor unit can cause significant damage. Snow that falls into your outdoor unit cause corrosion and rust within the unit itself. During the coldest days in Vancouver during winter , we recommend covering your pipes.
4. Heat Waves
During some Pacific Northwest seasons, we can experience heat waves. Heat waves can cause your HVAC system to work much harder than normal often leading to breakdowns and/or your AC blowing warm air. The most important thing you can do to prepare for a heat wave is to have a yearly residential AC service . The best months to do service on AC is in the spring before the warm weather hits. During a residential AC service , your technician will clean your system and tune it up so that it is running as efficiently as possible heading into the warm summer months. He will also recommend any other changes to your system that may be needed such as duct sealing, duct cleaning, air scrubber, etc.
Miller’s Heating & Air is your local residential AC service expert and heating service expert. Have any questions about your HVAC system during our Pacific Northwest seasons? Feel free to reach out to us online or call us at 360-524-2880.