Prepare Your HVAC Unit for the Next Winter Storm Approaching

Statistics show that the next winter storm of any significance is most likely to occur in January, which is typically the coldest month of the year in Terre Haute. However, we all know that weather can be erratic in these days of changing climate and that any time after mid-November could conceivably bring icy conditions and snowfall. Whenever the next winter storm arrives, it’s a good idea to have your HVAC system prepared for the potential effects of cold and snow ahead of time. Here’s what needs to be done and when.


  • Schedule annual furnace preventive maintenance with your local HVAC contractor. Performed by an experienced heating technician, the service includes an in-depth inspection of furnace components and verifying that all functions are working, including proper combustion and testing the operation of critical safety features.
  • Cover the outdoor AC unit with a fitted cover for the season.

If the Next Winter Storm Is Forecast

  • Visually inspect the furnace vent. Check out the furnace vent pipe that extends through the roof. Verify that the pipe’s protective cap that keeps snow and ice out is in place and intact.
  • If the outdoor central AC is located where heavy icicles are falling from gutters above or tree limbs are breaking due to ice — all of which may impact the unit — place a piece of plywood atop the unit for added protection.

During a Winter Storm

  • High-efficiency furnaces utilize direct venting through a pipe that typically extends through the side of an exterior wall. During freezing temperatures, check the pipe outlet for potential ice formation blocking the flow of condensation released by the furnace. Melt the ice blockage with hot water if required.
  • If a heat pump is utilized instead of a furnace, buildup of heavy snow on the outdoor unit may interfere with the heat-extraction process that generates warmth. Sweep accumulating snow off the top of the unit and clear deep snowfall away from all sides to provide adequate clearance for proper air circulation.

Be ready for the next winter storm. Ask the pros at Paitson Bros. about preventive furnace maintenance, as we’ve been helping Terre Haute keep comfortable every winter since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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