Prepping for Extreme Weather During Hurricane Season
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and forecasters expect an active season. Hurricanes cause severe damage to anything in their paths, and your HVAC system is particularly vulnerable from wind, lightening and water damage.
The outdoor condenser is particularly at risk because it sits outdoors. Damage to it may force a system replacement. Even if your insurance covers the cost, you’ll lose home comfort until the system’s has been replaced.
Before the Storm
Locate the circuit breaker box and label the breaker that turns off the power for the HVAC system. Power outages themselves won’t harm your system when the electricity goes off, but the power surges that occur as the power is being restored might.
Install a metal cage around the outdoor condenser or use heavy tarps or plywood to protect the unit, since strong winds are common during hurricane season. Your HVAC contractor can install the metal cage, which also helps protect the unit from copper theft or refrigerant huffing.
Use tie downs if your condenser isn’t anchored on its slab, which is another service your contractor can provide. If you use a tarp or plywood, turn the system off at the breaker before wrapping it and do not run it until you’ve removed the covering.
After the Storm
Once the storm passes and electricity has been restored, carefully inspect the unit for any damage. If it sat in water from heavy rainfall, experienced a nearby lightening strike, or has wind damage, have your HVAC professional inspect it before you use it.
Water and electrical damage might be invisible to the untrained eye, but the HVAC technician has tools to detect hidden damage. The condensing coil may need deep cleaning and the electrical components tested to verify that they’re intact.
Although it’s impossible to predict where the storms will occur this hurricane season, preparing your HVAC system beforehand protects it.
At Sobieski Services, we want to help our customers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland learn about energy and home comfort issues to save money and live in more comfortable homes.