Preparing your HVAC Unit for a Storm
When it comes to protecting your home and your family during a storm; you already know what to do; keep the flashlights handy, board up the windows, store away enough food and water, and keep the weather channel on. These precautions also apply to your HVAC system.
A major storm can cause unimaginable havoc in your home, and while you cannot protect every single unit you own from the storm, your HVAC unit does not have to be part of the debris you find in your yard the next morning.
What Danger is your HVAC Unit in?
Three things can damage your unit in a storm; wind, lighting, and flood water. You need to understand exactly how these three can affect your system before you take any action. One wrong thing and your unit will be exposed to all these dangers.
Wind, for instance, can carry dirt and debris from the storm into your unit, and the strongest storms will carry the unit itself and dump it miles away. If you live in a high rise building, don’t feel protected against flood water. Storms are highly unpredictable, and when pipes rapture or roofs are torn off, you will be glad that you took the time to prepare your HVAC system accordingly.
There are some things that you can do before, during, and after the storm passes to ensure that your HVAC unit is fully prepared and protected from any damages. If prepared the right way, your system can stand thousands of storms and come out on the next day without a scratch. Let's get prepared, shall we?
Prevention is Key
Protecting your HVAC equipment from a storm depends largely on what you do before the hurricane hits. You need to apply several measures to not only put up protective measures for your unit but also to ensure that the reinforcement you use stays in place throughout the aggressive winds.
Before the storm, make sure you do the following
Ensure your outdoor unit is fully secured
Tighten the bolts, and if you have hurricane straps, then fit them in perfectly. Replace the straps and the hooks that go with them if necessary, and cover your unit so that nothing can get in or out. Don’t forget that you can also use surge protectors for the outdoor unit as well. It is a common misconception that surge protectors are for indoor use only, it is wise to invest the money to help protect your outdoor unit, and help prevent against costly repairs.
Clear all loose objects
Look at the surrounding area and get rid of any loose debris that could fly about and damage your unit during the storm.
Your equipment would be better protected from flood water in an elevated position, but even then, don’t neglect to cover it up nice and tight.
During the Storm
Don’t use the system
Power your HVAC unit off and wait for the hurricane to do its dance before you use it again. If the system is on and gets affected by the storm, then the damages will be ten times worse.
After the Storm
Even after the hurricane has passed, it is not over yet. Look around and make sure your unit is out of danger before anything else.
- Perform a full assessment of your equipment, but never turn the system back on immediately after the storm.
- Schedule an inspection if the storm was too aggressive for your unit.
- Set your indoor system to make sure it is working properly.
The best way to navigate storm is to be prepared, and as long as you take the necessary precautions, then you won’t have to replace your HVAC unit anytime soon.