We’re in the midst of hurricane season here on the East Coast, and in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, homeowners are reminded of the devastation that inclement weather can bring. Even when the rainfall is less devastating than a full-bore hurricane, it can still affect your home’s system in ways you could never have anticipated. Proper preparation is key to handling heavy rains and flooding, particularly when it comes to key components in your home such as the heating and air conditioning system. Your HVAC system is vital to keeping your home safe and comfortable, and the more you can do to protect it from the weather, the better off you’ll be.
Before the Storm
Before the weather hits, you can take some simply steps to prevent excess damage to your system.
- Turn the system off. Heavy storms often create power outages, which can adversely affect your HVAC system. Turn the system off before the storm hits — shutting off the breaker switch that controls the system — and don’t turn it on again until after the danger passes. If you’re concerns about keeping the house warm or cool. run the system before you unplug it.
- Cover outside units. The outdoor portion of the system is going to feel the brunt of the storm, and the more you can do to protect it, the better. Clear the area around it of any debris or clutter, and cover it with a tarp or fitted covering (available at any home improvement center) to protect it from the rain. Make sure the covering is secured against potential high winds and similar dangers.
During the Storm
When the storm itself hits, safety becomes your number-one concern. Refrain from going outside to check the unit, and don’t turn the system on again until the storm has passed. Doing otherwise could cause severe damage to the system.
After the Storm
Before you turn the system on again, make sure the power has been reliably restored, then check the exterior unit for signs of damage. Remove the tarp and clear away any debris you might find, then restore power to the system.
Ideally, you should also call in a qualified repair service to give the unit a thorough once-over. Maintenance sessions for heating and air conditioning systems are a good idea for this time of year anyway, and if you suspect more serious issues in your system, then a qualified technician is the best option for detecting any damage. The maintenance session will not only spot any overt signs of damage, but will help your system get back up to speed quickly once the inclement weather has run its course.
In some cases, such a step may not be necessary. If the weather was comparatively mild and you have no reason to suspect further damage to the system, you can restore power to it and operate it. Pay close attention for signs of anything out of the ordinary, however, and if you suspect such damage, then turn the system off immediately.
The trained pros at Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. can keep HVAC systems maintained in the Lewes, DE area.