How to Protect Your HVAC System During Storm Season
It seems like powerful storms have been on everyone's radar lately. The Atlantic hurricane season reached its peak in mid-September and will continue through November 30 – just in time for Old Man Winter.
Wild weather certainly doesn't bode well for your heating and cooling system. Fortunately, the right type of storm preparation can protect your property from some of the most common HVAC storm damage. Here's how to prevent and check for damage to your heating and cooling system.
Before a Storm or Hurricane
Sometimes, a few preventive steps can spare you from a flooded furnace or emergency AC fix due to a storm. Follow this checklist to help prevent HVAC storm damage to equipment before inclement weather. In some cases, you can even ask our HVAC professionals to install systems in a specific way to help minimize weather risks.
Do on Your Own:
- Clean dirt and debris from your backyard to prevent it from blowing inside your HVAC unit, which can damage circuitry. Keep the area clear of things like garden tools and outdoor furniture.
- Cool or heat your home as much as possible prior to a storm. Stop use during a storm.
- Unplug and remove window units prior to a storm.
- Keep exhaust pipes and vents clear of debris.
Call a Professional:
- Speak to a professional about placing protective covers over outdoor air conditioning units. We don't advise just throwing any old tarp over the system! Moisture can accumulate under the covering, and that tarp might be attractive to animals seeking shelter. If you're in a pinch for time, use a tight canvas cover.
- Talk to an HVAC technician about installing your AC unit in an elevated position if flooding is a concern.
- Talk to professionals about surge protection. A whole-house surge protector can prevent your electronic appliances from that next lightning strike or downed power line.
- Contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania to set up an appointment.
Inspecting for & Repairing Damage After a Storm
A thorough check of HVAC damage can help diagnose a problem before it gets bigger. In some cases, you'll need to call an HVAC professional for repairs like duct cleaning and replacement parts.
Do on Your Own:
- Assess any damage to outdoor and indoor equipment (don't forget to check the basement, if it's safe). Look for dents, HVAC flood damage, and debris in or around the units.
- Look for loose or disconnected electrical wires. Contact an emergency electrician immediately if you see one.
- After hurricanes and heavy rain, check equipment for mold.
- Test equipment for 48-72 hours to properly assess any issues. Monitor equipment for any unusual noises and odor.
- Inspect your chimney for debris as well as fireplace fans or blowers.
Call a Professional:
- Have a professional HVAC contractor check systems that may have been submerged in a flood. Don't just check outside — be sure to inspect basement appliances too, such as gas furnaces.
- Wet ductwork will need professional mold remediation.
- To prevent mold growth, ask a professional to clean or replace ducts, the evaporator, humidifier pads, the drain hose, and the blower.
- Inspect coil fins that might have been struck by hail. Bent and damaged fins can alter airflow, potentially increasing your energy consumption (and your electric bill).
- Contact One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania or call (717) 276-0271 for 24/7 emergency service
Cut Costs with HVAC Protection Plans
Has your home been hit by several storms? It might be time to consider an HVAC protection plan. One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Southeast Pennsylvania offers several tiers of protection that include 24/7 emergency service, free service calls, $2,000 credit toward repairs, and more. Learn more about HVAC Protection Plans in Central Pennsylvania.
Be sure to check out other great Lancaster branch offers, including $50 off any repair or service and $129 AC unit tune up and safety inspection, valid through September 2017. See all HVAC special offers.