Be Ready: Preparing Your HVAC for Storms
Preparing your HVAC for stormy weather is not something that should be taken lightly. It can lead to costly damages, and if you are unprepared, it could cause major issues in the future.
Going by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's storm statistics, there were over 700 tornadoes in the USA between January 1st and July 25th, 2021.
Storms are becoming more common, and it is important that you are prepared for weather emergencies. It's important to know what to do before and after a storm has passed.
But first, how do storms affect your HVAC system? To prepare well, every homeowner needs to understand the various ways storms can impact their home's HVAC system.
There are several ways storms affect your HVAC systems, such as:
· Power outages that prevent the unit from running at all or for long periods
· Temperature changes caused by extreme heat and cold weather patterns cause your HVAC unit to work overtime
· Strong winds that force debris like leaves and dust into the unit can lead to vent blockage and further internal damage
· Extreme humidity levels cause the unit to work harder than usual, leading to higher energy bills
· Rain and other precipitation can sometimes cause the unit to malfunction if it is located in an area prone to flooding.
· Lightning strikes near or on your unit, which can affect both the electrical system as well as damage to the outside of the home
To prepare for these conditions during storm season, you must know what equipment needs regular maintenance so that you are not caught off guard.
Have a Surge Protector
Power surges cause significant damage to your unit. When the power supply doesn't match up with what's needed for that moment, it results in a spike which causes rapid wear and tears on equipment such as motors, compressors, controls, and switches.
During storms, it is common to experience power surges. Power surge protection will allow the electrical current to be controlled by your unit, limiting damage and saving you money on repairs or replacements in the future.
Replace Air Filters Regularly
Air filters play a vital role in the performance of your HVAC system. They keep contaminants such as dust, dirt, and debris from entering your unit's equipment. This helps prevent more serious problems down the line that can result in costly repairs or replacements.
Before a stormy season, it is essential to check them regularly for particles that might have gotten stuck and ensure they're in good condition. If they cannot be restored, a replacement is necessary to work correctly and efficiently during stormy weather seasons or hurricanes.
Stock Sufficient Heating Fuel for Uninterrupted Operation
Power outages are common during storm seasons, and a major one can take your HVAC unit out of operation for days or more. To continue providing heat in extremely cold weather conditions, you must have enough fuel to keep your generator running until power returns.
If you have an alternative backup plan like a battery bank, ensure that the battery bank is fully charged and ready to use. Test your power backup appliances to ensure that they are working properly to avoid any interruptions in service.
Keep Your Compound Free From Debris
When debris like small pieces of paper or leaves finds its way into your HVAC unit, it can cause serious damage to the electrical components. If a large amount of debris finds its way into one of the moving parts that force air through your ducts, it could even become lodged in place and create an obstruction preventing air from reaching rooms throughout the compound.
To avoid this issue, make sure you keep your outside area clean and free of debris. If you have a large piece of tree, wood, or other material that needs to be removed from your compound, ensure it is done before the first storm warning begins. Remember that falling objects like trees can damage your external HVAC components, which can lead to costly repairs in the long run.
Secure Your HVAC Unit
During storms, strong winds can cause your HVAC unit to become loose and may cause it to fall over. If this happens, the internal mechanics of the unit can be damaged, which will likely need professional repair afterward.
You need to ensure that your unit is securely fastened to the ground and that it has been leveled or angled. It should be at a height where you can easily access its various parts for cleaning purposes. This way, you can be sure that it won't be knocked over.
Call an Experienced HVAC Contractor for Maintenance
You should also never attempt to clean out your HVAC unit without knowing how it works and what type of damage you could do if certain parts are removed or cleared while others remain clogged with debris.
Choosing a licensed HVAC contractor is one of the most important steps you can take as a homeowner. When an unforeseen weather event occurs, it's critical to have someone who will be there fast with quality service to ensure that your home's HVAC system runs at its peak performance.
Diagnosis and Repairs After the Storm
Knowing when a storm has damaged your HVAC system and what repairs are needed is key to understanding how much it will cost you out of pocket.
Your contractor must do an assessment as soon as possible after the weather event if there was any damage caused, such as flooding, electrical surges, or other events.
With winter on its way, you must take some time to prepare your HVAC units for the storm ahead. Whether you need an upgrade in equipment or want some tips on how best to maintain your system over the next few months, Comfortec Heating Cooling & Plumbing can help.
Just give us a call today, and one of our experts will be happy to talk with you about any questions or concerns you may have. We offer expert advice, repairs, installation services and 24-hour emergency service, so don't hesitate to reach out if something goes wrong.
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