There's a storm coming, so you go into preparation mode. You make sure you have candles and flashlights, put gas in the car, charge your phone.
You might be ready for the storm, but how prepared is your heating and air conditioning system? Before severe weather hits your HVAC system, make sure you've followed these precautions.
1. Secure your outdoor equipment
Make sure your outdoor cooling equipment is anchored to a concrete bed to keep it from blowing over or washing away during a storm. If you live in hurricane country, buy some hurricane straps to latch down your air conditioning unit in case of high winds.
2. Cover your equipment
Shut down your HVAC system before the storm hits and -- if you can – cover the outdoor unit with a tarp. Just be sure to remove the tarp and any debris that might have collected before restarting the system.
3. Surge protection
Invest in a high-quality surge protector for any places where major appliances – your furnace, for example – are plugged into a standard wall outlet. This will automatically shut down the system in case of a surge in voltage. Don't handle any electrical components on your own and consult with an HVAC maintenance technician if you're unsure about anything.
4. Assess the damage
When the storm is over, make sure your system is safe before restarting. Look for signs of damage and clear away debris. Contact an HVAC maintenance company about inspecting the equipment. Once you've gotten the green light, restart your system. This will help dry your home and keep mold from forming in your ducts.
What if there was flooding?
If you experienced flooding, it's critical to follow the right steps to stay safe as you try to reconnect your HVAC system.
1. Shut off the power
Make sure all electrical switches and gas valves connected to the heating and air conditioning system are shut off. If flooding caused your water heater or furnace to become submerged, turn off gas valves so that you aren't exposed to leaking gas. Open the system to let it dry out.
2. Get your heating and air conditioning system inspected
Don't restart your HVAC system until a local heating and air conditioning company has given you the OK. Have an electrician examine your home's wiring to make sure it's dry before power is restored.
4. It's ok to wait
Even if your electric company tells you it's ok to turn your power back on, it's OK to wait until you have your heating and cooling company evaluate your system.
And if the damage is significant enough, you may have to replace your heating and cooling equipment. This may depend on the amount of time it was under water, whether it's full of debris and whether the power was still on when the flooding happened.
Hurricane season is upon us here in eastern Pennsylvania, and even though we don't get storms on the level of what Florida or even New Jersey endure, we still get storms.
If you're worried that your heating and air conditioning system isn't ready for a big storm, or you're trying to assess the damage after a storm hits, All Seasons Comfort Control can help.
Our technicians can inspect your system and determine whether you're prepared for an impending storm or whether your HVAC equipment is ready to restart when the storm passes. Contact us today and we'll get started on making sure your system is safe.