Although life is not predictable, there are some things that will always be there like rain and tax. People do lots of preparation for these times and even incur huge investments to ensure their families are safe, but oftentimes they leave out the HVAC.
If you live in a place that is prone to hurricanes and severe weather, HVAC maintenance may save you lots of money by securing your unit even during the fiercest tropical storms.
The Problem of Hurricanes
When the hurricane winds start swirling, a lot of debris gets blown up and they can hit directly at your HVAC coils thus damaging them. On the other hand, mud clots and leaves may pile on your condenser thus lowering its efficiency.
When the conditions become extreme, the HVAC unit itself could be lifted up into the air and then crashed to the ground. Your HVAC unit also faces the threat of flood waters from broken pipes which may come gushing into your unit causing the metal components to rust. The flood damage may take quite a while to notice but when you do notice, it may be too late.
If you happen to live near the ocean, the saline environment can take a toll on your HVAC valves and wiring. A damaged valve can cause a fire hazard.
Lightening is also a hazard common during the hurricane season. Whenever lightning strikes, it takes out your power and this may be followed by power surges which potentially damage the compressor. After the storm, brownout conditions may again pose a threat to your HVAC unit.
What to Do to Keep Safe
There are several things you can do to keep your unit safe before the storm, and even after it passes. Some of these measures are discussed below:
Winterizing Your Unit
During autumn, you can protect your unit from the rain and wind from covering it with a small piece of plywood or tarp. Even if the hurricane doesn’t come, protecting your unit from weather changes can pay off in the long run. Just ensure that you periodically uncover it so that it can dry out and small animals don’t lodge in your unit.
Secure your outdoor unit with hooks so that it doesn’t get caught up in the winds as they blow across the unit. For the flood damage, you have to elevate the unit from the ground and the good thing is you only do this once.
When the Storm is Approaching
Once the weatherman fills you up with the news of an upcoming storm, you should quickly unplug and shut off your HVAC breaker. This significantly reduces the chances of blowing the fuse box or circuit once the power is back on.
Ensure you also double check the tarp so that it is firmly secured and won’t blow off during the storm.
When the Storm Passes
Once the storm is behind you, don’t quickly turn on your HVAC. This is because water may have gotten inside your unit which may cause damage once it is turned on.
Be patient until the inside of the unit is completely dry. If you are not quite sure whether it is safe to turn on the unit, get a HVAC professional to inspect it.