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How Extreme Cold Affects Your Appliances

By November 16, 2020September 28th, 2022No Comments
, How Extreme Cold Affects Your Appliances

Can freezing temperatures damage your home appliances? Is there anything you can do to prepare for it? The answer is yes, and yes! Extreme cold weather does affect your appliances, especially those in garages and basements. But don’t worry: there are several ways you can prevent any freezing temperatures from taking their toll. 

Washing Machine

Your washing machine runs solely off of water, which is why it is so vulnerable to extreme cold. Hoses connected to your washer are responsible for filling the tub before a cycle and drain the water when it’s done. If your washing machine is indoors but is located against a poorly-insulated, outfacing wall (like in a basement or garage where temperatures can drop below freezing), you may find that your hoses filled with ice instead of water. This can cause the water intake valve to crack and creak and leave you with water everywhere when temperatures warm up.

Here are a few ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Wrap your washer’s hoses with pipe insulation
  • Disconnect your water lines from the wall and only connect them when you’re running a load

HVAC System

HVAC units are designed to withstand cold temperatures, snow, and ice, so regular winter weather generally isn’t an issue. However, if your unit becomes encased in ice and snow, it can trigger an emergency shut-off. If your HVAC unit is not maintaining the desired indoor temperature, it should then switch over to the secondary emergency heat. If you are not aware that the heat is off, you can be left with frozen, broken pipes and severe water damage as a result. 

Here are a few ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Build a firewall. Outdoor HVAC units should be built where there is a minimal chance of it getting covered by snow. Consider building a wall or fence around your unit so it can be clear of snow. Also, make sure that there is enough airflow on all sides.
  • Clear the area. Be sure to shovel around your HVAC unit. Also, ensure your gutters aren’t leaking any water onto the unit, which would then freeze.


If there isn’t a complete loss of power and heat in your home during freezing weather, the refrigerator in your kitchen should be safe and protected from the elements. However, if you have a second refrigerator or freezer in a garage or basement, you may need to take precautions to ensure they stay that way. 

Here are a few ways to prevent this from happening:

  • Disconnect or insulate the hoses
  • Use a space heater