Extreme weather can seriously impact your home. One area vulnerable to these kinds of dangerous elements is your HVAC system. Flooding, high winds, lightning strikes, hail, and other acts of nature can cause severe, expensive harm to heating and cooling equipment.
Steps To Prevent Storm Damage
Thankfully, homeowners can take some steps to protect their home environmental systems from damage caused by weather. While such acts cannot be predicted or prevented entirely, their damage can at least be minimized or the risks reduced. Some preventative measures need to be part of the system’s installation. Others need to be done before a storm hits.
Do Not Use The System During A Storm
Avoid running your system during severe or questionable weather. Turning off the system at the thermostat can prevent damage from power surges caused by lightning strikes or other events. Throwing the circuit breaker(s) connected to the heating and cooling equipment will provide even more protection.
Protection From Flooding
Protecting a heating and air conditioning system from damage by floodwaters starts with proper installation. When the equipment is put into place, it should be installed on a higher level than the surrounding ground. If it is not possible to have the unit raised above the flood level for the area, a homeowner may be able to install a sump pump that will automatically remove water from around the equipment once it reaches a certain level.
Removing Possible Flying Object
High winds during a storm can turn just about anything into a hazard. Downed tree limbs (or dead ones still in the tree), children’s toys, patio furniture, loose boards, and anything else in the yard where the outside HVAC equipment is should all be picked up before a storm to prevent them from being thrown into the unit. Damage from flying debris is the second most common risk to the equipment.
Anchor and Cover The Unit
To prevent the unit from being moved around during high winds, it needs to be anchored into place properly. If a storm is imminent, consider covering the equipment with a strong tarp to keep small flying debris from damaging any vulnerable elements. If it’s in an area where hail is common, install hail guards over the unit before destructive hail hits. Hail is the single most damaging offense to HVAC systems during storms.
Inspect Before Reactivating
Inspect the equipment after the storm and before turning on the unit. If damage appears to be serious, call a technician to determine if the unit is safe to reactivate.
Storms of all types can deal serious damage to HVAC systems. Power surges can blow out fuses and short out equipment. High water levels can flood equipment and leave it inoperable. High winds can throw debris into outdoor units and hail can destroy equipment. If a homeowner takes the proper steps, danger from these hazards can be minimized, if not prevented altogether.
Have additional questions? Contact Payne Air Conditioning today.