Feb 1, 2023 | Emergency Plan, Backup Plan, Cold Weather, Efficiency, Fireplace, Furnace, Gas Meter, Generator, Heat Pump, Heating System, Insulate, Lighter, Outdoor, Portable Heater

Homeowners rely on their heating systems to keep their homes warm and comfortable during the winter season. However, it’s not uncommon for homes to experience heating systems breakdowns or power outages during winter. If your heating system fails or there is a power outage due to a snowstorm, etc., it can leave your home cold and uncomfortable and be a safety hazard. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for HVAC emergencies in the winter.  

By taking a few simple steps to prepare your heating system for winter and knowing what to do in case of a winter HVAC emergency, you can keep your home warm and safe all season long. Follow these tips from your local heating and cooling service professionals at Finneytown Heating & Cooling to assist you if your power or your heating system goes out in the middle of the winter.  


  1. Generators: If you don’t already have a generator, consider getting one as a backup power source in case of power outages.  
  1. Portable Heaters: Portable heaters can be a great way to temporarily provide additional heat if your HVAC system has suddenly gone out. 
  1. Extra Blankets: It’s a good idea to keep a few extra blankets on hand in case the temperature drops unexpectedly, your heating system goes out, or this is a power outage. This will help you stay warm and comfortable until the issue can be resolved.  
  1. Window Treatments: In frigid temperatures, close all your blinds and draw your drapes or curtains together. This provides an extra layer of insulation. In addition, you may use extra towels or blankets to drape over the windows to insulate them further. 
  1. Fireplace: If you have a fireplace, it would be good to have an emergency stockpile of wood set aside, specified only for HVAC emergencies. Nobody wants to run out in the middle of a blizzard or power outage to get firewood from the store. 


Outside Vents:  

One important aspect of emergency HVAC winter preparedness is ensuring that your outside vents are in good condition. These vents allow for the proper circulation of air in and out of your home, which helps your heating and cooling system run efficiently. When snow falls, it is especially important to make sure that these vents are not blocked by snow, ice, or debris. If your outside vents are blocked, it can cause your HVAC system to work harder, leading to higher energy bills and potentially damaging your system.  

To prevent this, regularly check your outside vents during snowy periods and clear them of any obstructions. You may also consider installing vent covers to protect them from the elements and prevent blockages. And lastly, if you find the outdoor vents accumulating ice or snow buildup during harsh weather, gently wipe away the buildup with a broom or brush. Furthermore, you should make it a habit to check these exterior vents whenever you head out to shovel your driveway. 

Gas Meters:  

It’s important to take care of your gas meter if your home has one. When clearing away ice and snow from around the unit, be sure to do so gently. Do not use heavy objects or snow blowers to remove snow off the top, as this can cause damage to the meter. Instead, try using a brush or broom to gently sweep away any excess snow. Also, make sure to include this step in your regular snow maintenance routine to ensure the proper functioning of your gas meter.  

Heat Pump:  

It’s essential to check your heat pump for snow accumulation regularly. Snow buildup can cause the unit to stop working during times when it’s needed most. Most models are designed to prevent snow from accumulating on the top by way of a defrost feature, but it’s still a good idea to check and verify the unit is clear.  

To ensure proper drainage during defrosting and to maintain the efficiency of your heat pump, be sure to clear the top, sides, underneath, and surrounding area of the unit. Make sure no objects are obstructing the airflow around the heat pump. Again, adding this step to your regular snow-clearing routine will ensure your HVAC system is set up for success.  

Knowing what to do in case of a winter HVAC emergency can help keep you and your family warm in your time of need. By being prepared, you can minimize the impact of a heating system breakdown and stay as warm as possible while waiting for the power to come back on or if your furnace is out for professional help to arrive.  

If you are in need of a trustworthy HVAC company, give Finneytown Heating & Cooling a chance and call us today at (513) 935-0440, or schedule an appointment now by clicking here! We offer 24/7 emergency services, so you can count on us to be at your home as soon as possible!