By now, you have heard the news reports and warnings that cover the basics when a severe storm is approaching: bringing in the plants and patio furniture, turn over outdoor tables if you are unable to fit them in the garage, board up your windows where possible. But what about your heating and air conditioning systems in bad weather? Your HVAC system is a key contributor to your overall home comfort and one of most expensive investments, after your home. It’s important to make sure it weathers the storm, not only for you and your family’s comfort, but also to your pocketbook.
Below are some important steps to take in order to ensure your HVAC system stays protected in the high winds, falling debris, and dangerous lightning:
- The first recommendation is to shut everything down if it looks like a power outage is inevitable. This will help reduce the risk of blowing out circuits and burning out the compressor when the electricity does return.
- Batten down the hatches! Securing your equipment is one of the most important steps you can take. The hardware holding your air conditioning unit in place can rust or come loose over time, and loose equipment can move and cause significant damage. Make sure to use hurricane straps or bolts to secure your system to the base.
- Eliminate loose items near or around the air conditioning unit. Remove any items near the outside of the air conditioning unit that might become airborne and cause impact damage to the unit such as patio furniture, plants, toys, and bikes.
- Flooded air conditioners. If you live in an area that flooded, make sure conditions are dry before you try to operate your air conditioner. NEVER restore power to the system until you know you are completely safe to do so. It’s best to have a professional technician do a thorough inspection to determine if it is safe to operate.
- Impact damage or debris. Before turning the air conditioner back on, check it for damage or debris around that could cause it to malfunction or overheat. If you are unsure, have a professional technician check your system.
- Salt water damage. Salt water has a corrosive effect on air conditioning systems, if not addressed immediately it can destroy your system over time. A professional technician will know how to gently clean the affects of salt water from your equipment.
Once the storm has passed, check your outside equipment for any damage like dents or dings from fallen debris. If you feel there is something obstructing your system and preventing it from working properly, contact A.D.E. Heating and Cooling, Inc. before you turn your unit back on.
Remember, as you make plans and prepare your emergency hurricane kits, take care to watch your heating and cooling systems. You’ve spent a lot of money having these systems installed and maintained. With the proper precautions you can protect your investment and avoid an unpleasant situation!