How Weather affects your AC, Plumbing, Heating Equipments and Way Out.

Different types of weather conditions can affect your home’s furnace, plumbing or air conditioner, so you must have a seasonal maintenance plan in place.

Failing to follow your plan can lead to having damaged devices in your home along with needing to live in a hotel until a problem is repaired.

Here are some of the ways that weather affects your home’s climate-control and plumbing devices.


Way 1: Freezing the Water inside the Pipes

Before winter arrives, you must care for your home’s pipes and plumbing fixtures.

With ambient temperature of about 20° Fahrenheit, your pipe can cross over 30° in a couple of days and start freezing.

This is the main reason why water pipes of your air conditioner, plumbing and heating equipment burst during winter.

This has even been observed severally with copper pipe with fiber glass insulation which is common in many households.

Therefore, the minimum temperature to keep your pipe from freezing is anything not more from 20 degree F.

The biggest danger from the drop in temperatures is water freezing inside the pipes, leading to pipes that burst.

As the temperature increases, hundreds of gallons of water can spill from the pipes, leading to additional damage to your home.

Your water pipe can also freeze without much heat on if there’s no flow of water.

This is when you hardly stay at home or traveled and can take couple of days to thaw on its own when the day temperature dips to around 20°F.

The pipes in the walls and ceilings of a home can freeze, damaging your home’s drywall, wood paneling and carpets, and the pipes leading to toilets, water heaters, sinks and bathtubs can also burst.

To make sure your pipe don’t freeze, wrap the pipes with insulating tape, adjust the thermostat accordingly and make sure to keep your home warm throughout the winter.

Using any of the best pipe insulation materials like pipe sleeve, electrical heat tape can as well help keeping pipe from freezing in a crawl space or empty home.

Other things you can do if you’re leaving home and the house will be vacant, you can shut off the water from the main shut off valve.

Also, unplug every equipment or even disconnect the electrical connection of the house.


Way 2: Plants Growing around Your Home’s Air Conditioner

As spring arrives, weeds, shrubs and flowers may begin to grow around your home’s air conditioner.

If you don’t trim these plants, then the items can invade the device, and when you turn the air conditioner on when the weather is hot, it can ruin the blades or overheat the system.

Make sure to trim away the plants around the air conditioner throughout the spring and summer to avoid having problems with the equipment.

You can as well get things to put around the AC unit like plywood cover or breathable material to cover it and shield from snow, rain, etc.

Also, proper landscaping around the air conditioner unit is very important. At least, two feet weed clearance should be done.

Making windbreak with evergreen plants would also preventing plants growing in your air conditioner.


Way 3: Creating Clogs in the Drainage System

The drainage pipes or lines of your home’s interior and exterior plumbing can develop clogs in the winter as food particles, grease and bathroom tissue freezes.

These clogs can expand, damaging the sewage and drainage lines, requiring an expensive repair to replace sections of pipes or an entire system.

You can protect the drainage system during the winter by making sure to run hot water through the lines occasionally.

In addition, avoid placing too much bathroom tissue or grease into the toilets or bathroom sinks.

If it’s clogged already, you can unclog the bathroom or toilet sink using home remedy using salt, baking soda, caustic soda.

If you can, you can get laundry men to help you out, cleaning the drain with their detergent.


Way 4: Power Surges during Thunderstorms

If you live in a region with numerous thunderstorms, then brownout conditions can occur.

As the power returns to the electrical system in your home, it can cause a dangerous power surge that damages equipment such as furnaces, air conditioners and baseboard heaters.

While it’s important to have surge lighting protection device for your electrical appliances like TV, refrigerator, air conditioner and others, it’s still not safe to use electronics during thunderstorm.

Your whole house lightning protection for electronic equipments may not guarantee 100 percent safety but having it on will protect the electrical panel of your device including your UPS.

You should contact an electrician to help with the process of protecting climate-control equipment from power surges so as to maximize the pros of using the anti thunder strike device and lessen the cons.


Way 5: Damaging a Furnace’s Components

Outside temperature will surely affect the furnace of your heating equipment at home.

When a furnace is operating most of the time because the outside temperatures are extremely cold, it can damage the components of the heating equipment.

Usually during winter, the furnace may stop working when below freezing point and extreme cold outside.

Therefore, you need to set the furnace higher in extreme cold so that it will turn up regularly when the weather is cold.

Also, changing the air filter frequently can protect a home’s furnace from the extra work that the climate-control device is doing.

You can do some temperature controller circuit troubleshooting of some equipments by following some working principles.

In addition, make sure that you don’t have anything piled around the furnace that will prevent proper airflow.

If you can open the doors to utility rooms or basements, then it can increase the circulation of air in your home to protect the furnace.

In addition to this, check your home’s vents to make sure that the items aren’t covered with draperies, rugs or furniture.



Charlie Teschner started MESA Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling in 1982. Charlie has a journeyman and master plumber’s license.