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Are External Heating Units Affected by Snow?

There is something about cold weather that has us retreating inside and cranking up the heat. While our homes may be nice and toasty, our external heating units may be in desperate need of TLC. An outdoor heat pump requires a little extra care during the snow. It may seem like a big job but fear not, with these easy steps you can have a toasty winter and a happy heat pump.

Heat pumps work by drawing in air from around the unit and heating it up. For the unit to properly do its job it needs to be ice and snow free. Checking the unit regularly for heat and snow and ice buildup will help the machine run efficiently.

Be sure the gap between the unit and the base is clear of snow and ice as well because melting and improper drainage will cause problems later on.

The heat pump generally works by channeling the heat up through the hose. Keeping that area free of snow and ice will also be beneficial for it to run the best way possible.

Do not use a chisel or sharp tools to remove snow or ice buildup. This could potentially damage the heat pump. Use a broom or brush to sweep away ice and snow.

Some units will go into defrost mode on their own. This mode will clear some of the excess snow and ice. If your unit does not go into defrost mode on its own, you can switch the thermostat to “Emergency Heat” mode. This will help significantly. This mode is more expensive and is not recommended to be turned on for more than one or two days.

If your unit is not defrosting, there are several potential reasons. Some may need to be taken care of by a technician others can be fixed by the owner:

Do it yourself:

If the outdoor coil is blocked (by snow, dirt, debris, leaves, etc), the unit is sunk in the ground (making it hard for melted snow and ice to drain), a leaking gutter above the unit, or if there is freezing rain causing the entire unit to freeze over, the owner (or you) can remedy any of these issues and soon you’ll be back to toasty warm toes.

Seek a professional:

If none of these things turn out to be the problem then it could be a technician problem. Some of these may be a bad defrost control or timer, a bad defrost sensor/thermostat, a bad defrost relay, a sticking reverse valve or bad reverse valve/solenoid coil, bad fan motor, low refrigerant charge, or restriction. Call us Go Green Heating and Air Conditioning right away to take a look before more damage or problems occur.

Regularly checking the unit throughout the winter will reduce problems later on a keep you and your toes warm all season long. If you have any concerns or are unsure of what to do, feel free to contact us anytime and we will be happy to help.

Tankless vs. Traditional Water Heaters

Without a doubt, owning a home is one of the best parts of life. That feeling of home, and knowing at the end of a long day a person has a place of their own to relax in, is a hard-earned reward that millions of Americans toil most of their lives for. Unfortunately, the cost it takes to maintain a home in 2016 can be overwhelming, if not impossible for some folks. A decision as seemingly small as which water heater you purchase for your home can end up saving or costing you thousands of dollars after just a few years.

There are two types of water heaters: tank and tankless. We are going to delve into the world of water heaters to help you decide which one is best for you and your household.

Traditional (Tank) Water Heaters

Traditional water heaters store and preheat 30-50 gallons of water inside a long, tall tank. This preheated water is used when someone in the house showers, does laundry or washes dishes. Once the tank is out of the water, it needs to be refilled again. When your 16-year-old daughter takes too long in the shower and there’s no hot water left, this is because your traditional water heater has used all its hot water. Traditional water heaters are relatively inexpensive to purchase upfront and can be replaced easily. The huge downside of traditional water heaters comes with the energy bill every month. Traditional water heaters are designed to heat and reheat water at a pre-set temperature no matter what your water needs are. If you’re away from the house and not using water, you’ll end up paying a considerable amount of money to heat water that you won’t use or need. Water heaters with tanks are also known for having a relatively short life span of 10-15 years, and are infamous for not being able to supply an average-sized household with enough hot water.

Tankless Water Heaters

Tankless water heaters feature sophisticated technology designed to heat water on demand. They use a heat source of electricity or gas, depending on your household. Tankless water heaters are compact and much smaller compared to traditional water heaters. These powerful heaters are able to deliver two to three gallons of hot water on demand, so you’ll never run out of hot water. With an average life of 20-25 years, tankless water heaters can function nearly twice as long as traditional water heaters. But here’s the big selling point. According to, “For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, demand (or tankless) water heaters can be 24%–34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters.” This translates into massive savings for most households after just a few years. Tankless water heaters are much more expensive than their traditional counterparts, but they pay themselves off within a few years after the purchase.

Which water heater is the best option for you? It depends. But the good news is Go Green Heating and Air Conditioning can help you decide! Give us a call today: 303-919-9292.