Should You Turn Off Mini Split in Snowstorm?

When it comes to operating a mini split during a snowstorm, the general consensus is to keep it running. This is because turning off the mini split during a snowstorm can lead to ice build-up, which can damage the unit. However, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure the mini split operates efficiently and safely during a snowstorm.

Activate Defrost Mode

Firstly, it is recommended to run the mini split’s defrost mode during the winter, especially during a snowstorm. Defrost mode helps to prevent the accumulation of ice on the coils and other internal components of the mini split system. This mode can be activated by finding the condenser controls and looking for the defrost setting. It is important to ensure that defrost mode is powered on during a snowstorm and any subsequent snowstorms.

To activate the defrost mode, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the condenser unit of your mini split system, which is typically located outside your home.
  2. Identify the control panel on the condenser unit, which may have various buttons, switches, or a digital display.
  3. Look for a button or setting labeled “Defrost” or “Defrost Mode.” This may be a dedicated button or a setting within the menu options.
  4. Press the Defrost button or navigate to the Defrost Mode setting and turn it on.
  5. Ensure that the Defrost Mode is active by checking the display or listening for the compressor to cycle on and off, indicating the defrost cycle is running.

It is important to note that the specific steps may vary depending on the make and model of your mini split system. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional if you are unsure about the process.

Elevate the Compressor

should you turn off mini split in snowstormImage source: Flickr

Secondly, it is recommended to elevate the compressor several feet above ground level. This can be done with a wood crate or a thicker concrete slab. Elevating the compressor helps to prevent it from being surrounded by a thick layer of snow, which can limit the unit’s efficiency. If the snow is coming down hard, it is recommended to go out mid-storm and sweep away the rapidly accumulating snow atop the compressor.

To elevate the compressor, follow these steps:

  1. Measure the height of the compressor from the ground. Determine the desired elevation, typically 2-3 feet above the ground.
  2. Prepare a sturdy base, such as a wooden crate or a concrete slab, that can support the weight of the compressor.
  3. Place the base in the desired location, ensuring it is level and stable.
  4. Carefully lift the compressor and place it on top of the elevated base.
  5. Secure the compressor to the base using appropriate fasteners, such as bolts or brackets, to prevent it from shifting or falling.
  6. During heavy snowfall, periodically check the compressor and clear any accumulated snow from the top and sides of the unit.

Elevating the compressor helps to maintain airflow around the unit, preventing it from being buried in snow and ensuring efficient operation during a snowstorm.

Keep the Compressor Free of Snow

Lastly, it is important to keep the compressor free of snow. Blocking the top components of the compressor can limit the unit’s efficiency. If the snow is coming down hard, it is recommended to brush the snow away as soon as possible after it stops snowing.

To keep the compressor free of snow, follow these steps:

  1. Regularly inspect the compressor unit during and after a snowstorm.
  2. Use a soft-bristled brush or a snow shovel to gently remove any accumulated snow from the top and sides of the compressor.
  3. Be careful not to damage the compressor’s components or the refrigerant lines when clearing the snow.
  4. If the snow is heavy or packed, consider using a de-icing solution or a small heater to melt the snow before brushing it away.
  5. Ensure that the air intake and exhaust vents on the compressor are clear of any obstructions, including snow, to maintain proper airflow.

Keeping the compressor free of snow is crucial for maintaining the efficiency and performance of your mini split system during a snowstorm.

In summary, it is recommended to keep the mini split running during a snowstorm, but with certain precautions. Running defrost mode, elevating the compressor, and keeping the compressor free of snow can help to ensure the mini split operates efficiently and safely during a snowstorm.

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