The hurricane season is always fraught with uncertainties. The biggest one being the damage that it will unleash. At such times, being prepared is the only saving grace. You will indeed be thankful when you realize that your preparation left your possessions intact and almost unscathed. Protecting your HVAC equipment is of prime importance as your very comfort at home is dependent on it. The outdoor unit of the HVAC system happens to be the most vulnerable of your investments. It is exposed to the elements of nature and bears the brunt of any adversity. Hurricane season is the most destructive one. Today, we shall discuss how you can protect your HVAC system in case of a hurricane.
Characteristic Features Of Hurricane
To prepare for the hurricane season, you first need to know what happens during a hurricane. It is a natural phenomenon that is associated with high-speed winds and lashing rain. Your property and possessions become susceptible to either being blown away or flood damage.
Pre Hurricane Season Preparation To Protect Your HVAC
Install The Outdoor Unit On A Raised Surface
If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, your outdoor unit should always be installed or mounted on a raised platform. Taking place’s flood history into account, the platform should be high enough to protect the outdoor unit from the floodwaters.
If the equipment were placed at ground level at the time of installation, it would be best to take corrective action before the hurricane season set in. You can ask the local HVAC contractor to reinstall the unit on a raised surface as you won’t be able to do anything at short notice to protect it from flood damage otherwise.
Enclose The Outdoor Unit In A Cage Type Structure
Strong winds accompany hurricanes. That is why there is always a fear of damage from flying objects. The best way to safeguard the outdoor unit against such damage is by fencing it or caging it. This way, the brunt of any impact will be borne by the safety structure rather than the unit’s main body. You will be thankful for this little detail when in the middle of the hurricane season.
Keep The Trees Around The Outdoor HVAC Unit Trimmed
Keeping the trees around the HVAC unit trimmed is one practice you should follow all around the year. It becomes especially critical when in the midst of a hurricane as a branch can fall on the outdoor unit and damage it.
Steps To Follow In Case Of A Hurricane
Now that your pre-hurricane season prep is in order let’s shift our focus to the steps that one should follow when the hurricane warning is sounded. Following these steps will ensure that there is minimum damage to your HVAC unit.
Protecting Your HVAC System In Case Of A Hurricane
A hurricane does not ever come in the blink of an eye. One moment everything was fine, and suddenly it’s all haywire. That’s not how hurricanes work. There is ample warning, so you have sufficient reaction time to brace yourself and safeguard your assets. Here are the steps that you need to follow to protect your HVAC system:
1. Switch Off The Power Supply – The first step is always to switch off the power supply. This one small step will ensure that no fires break out due to a short circuit. Keep candles and emergency lights handy so that you are not left in the dark. Usually, the power supply fails when in the midst of a hurricane. It happens due to fallen lines or on purpose by the electricity company as a precautionary measure. But when the power supply is restored, there is always a chance of power surges, which can damage your equipment and HVAC being one of them. Proactively shutting down the power supply by turning off the circuit breakers will protect all your household electronic equipment from damage due to high voltage.
2. Turn Off The Gas Supply – Most homes have a gas line for cooking, heating, and hot water. During a hurricane, the gas line can suffer damage increasing the threat of fire. It is, therefore, best to turn off the gas supply.
3. Secure The Outdoor HVAC Unit – Even with all the pre-hurricane preparation, you still need to check the outdoor unit of the heating and cooling system. Walk around it to assess its safety. Tighten all loose nuts and bolts, clear away all debris around it, and, if possible, fasten hurricane straps around it.
Post-Hurricane Safety Measures
The storm is over, but does that mean you can restart everything. Well, no, you can’t. It is because you don’t know what kind of damage the hurricane has done.
Steps To Follow After The Hurricane
Once the hurricane is over, first and foremost, take stock of the current situation. If you see fallen power lines, do not switch on the power supply in your home. Immediately call your electricity company and make them aware of the situation. If everything seems alright, proceed as follows:
1. Switch On The Power Supply But Not The HVAC – After the storm, if power has been restored in your area, you can turn on your home’s power supply. Still, refrain from switching on the HVAC system until its thorough inspection has been carried out, especially that of the outdoor unit.
2. Get The Gas Line Inspected – The gas line, too, needs to be thoroughly checked before you can turn it on. Ask your gas company to send somebody to inspect it properly.
When you get a go-ahead from the technicians that everything is in order, you can restart all your systems.
Residents of West Palm Beach, Florida, can call the air experts at Aztil Air Conditioning to help safeguard their costly HVAC equipment against hurricanes. After a thorough assessment of your heating and cooling system, our technicians will advise you about the current safety measures in place and also how you can strengthen it further. Our company is dedicated to ensuring your safety and comfort even during the toughest times. We handle all HVAC emergency services and are open 24/7 so that you can reach us at any time. To book an appointment or schedule an inspection, call +1-888-729-8452.