A hurricane can cause significant damage to your HVAC system if you do not take the proper precautions. If you want to make sure your HVAC system does not get damaged during a hurricane, be sure to consider the top ten tips below.
1. Turn Your Power Off
Hurricanes could expose your HVAC system to flooding, so it is usually recommended to turn your power off during a hurricane. Even though the humidity can make the area a little uncomfortable, it is better to turn the power off than causing irreparable damage to your HVAC system.
One of the areas you should particularly pay attention to is the outdoor air conditioning unit, which can get flooded with mud as well as water. Before you turn your HVAC system back on, always make sure that the unit is free of mud and other debris. If you are uncertain, you can also contact your local technician for a quick maintenance check.
2. Obtain Surge Protectors
Not all homes are equipped with surge protectors; this especially applies to some of the older homes in America. While surge protectors are not obligated in some areas, they can protect your HVAC system against lightning strikes that could occur during a hurricane.
Even if you have surge protectors around your home, it is still recommended to turn off the electrics if a hurricane is especially bad. Still, having surge protectors could be a solution when you aren't home and a hurricane hits.
3. Get Your HVAC System Checked After A Hurricane
Despite your best efforts, it is not uncommon for HVAC systems to act a little odd after a hurricane. Problems such as faulty wiring, electrical shortcuts, and failed capacitors are just some of the problems you can encounter after a hurricane. If you are unsure about the proper functioning of your HVAC system, always contact a licensed technician to perform a system check.
4. Remove Debris Near Your Outdoor Unit
A hurricane can easily pick up debris and loose objects, which in turn can damage your outdoor air conditioning unit. Even the most innocent objects can become lethal if they are picked up by a high wind. Therefore, remove all objects and debris from around your air conditioning unit before a hurricane hits.
5. Protect The Outdoor Unit
Leaving your outdoor unit unprotected can lead to significant damage. A suitable cover for your outdoor unit is therefore recommended. The cover should fit snug and should not be too loose, as this can cause the cover to blow away or get damaged.
For severe hurricanes, you can provide more protection to your outdoor unit by boarding it up. You should also place your air conditioning system higher up from the ground; this ensures your outdoor unit will not be damaged by any minor flooding.
6. Listen For Buzzing Or Clicking Sounds
When you turn on your air conditioner after a hurricane and you hear any buzzing or clicking sounds, it is best to switch it back off and contact a professional. Unusual sounds can point to possible faults and defects. To prevent your system for getting damaged further, get the all clear from an HVAC technician first.
7. Check Gas And Oil Furnaces And Boilers
Your air conditioning is not the only thing that should be checked after a hurricane, because other parts of an HVAC system can become damaged too. Gas and oil furnaces certainly belong to that category, as they contain parts that are susceptible to flooding.
Sometimes, damage caused to oil and gas furnaces is not visible immediately. However, flooding can lead to corrosion, which can pose safety hazards and even cause your system to fail over time. Therefore, have your gas and oil furnaces checked if they have been subject to flood water.
8. Contact Technicians For Propane Heating Systems Immediately
Some heating systems can be hazardous to repair, even small repair tasks. One such a hazardous repair tasks is the repair of a propane heating system after a hurricane. To make your system safe again after it has encountered flood water, technicians must replace the valves, controls, and other components that have encountered the flood water. The gas pressure must also be checked to avoid dangerous malfunctions, so never attempt to fix propane heating systems on your own.
9. Fixing Radiant Floor Heating
If you have encountered flooding because of a hurricane, then radiant floor heating can be significantly damaged. As they lay underneath the floor, any flooding can make its way through small cracks and openings in the floor.
The tubing and electrical wires for radiant floor heating can be irreparably damaged by water. If your home has flooded during a hurricane, do not turn on the radiant floor heating until it has been checked by a professional technician.
Protecting your home against flooding is of course better than having to contact a repair technician after the hurricane. If your area is prone to hurricane flooding, make sure you have basic protection equipment such as sandbags and water pumps.
10. Board Up Windows And Doors
To protect your home against hurricane weather conditions, it is usually a good idea to board up all your windows and doors. You should also have a backup generator in place and an emergency shelter. Placing electrical's higher up inside your home can provide additional protection too.
Basic measures against hurricanes can prevent a significant amount of damage to your HVAC system. Fortunately, most measures against hurricanes are affordable; this goes from basic wooden boards to the sandbags you place in front of your doors.
Please note that you should have sufficient food and water for emergencies as well, so it is not solely recommended to provide protection for your home. Place your supply of food and water in the designated shelter; this will prevent your food and water from becoming impacted by flooding.
If you receive an evacuation notice for your area, it is advised to follow these guidelines and leave your home for a safer location. Of course, you can still add the proper protection to your home for when you leave.