Hurricanes are one of the most destructive forces of Mother Nature. They bring with them intense winds and heavy rains, which can be very damaging to HVAC systems. However, hurricanes do have one benefit, which is that residents generally receive ample notice of their approach. Here are some steps that can be taken weeks, days, and hours before a hurricane to ensure as little damage is sustained as possible.
To Do Now:
Get a Surge Protector
It is not uncommon for lightning to accompany a hurricane, and if by chance lightning does strike an AC unit, the entire HVAC system could be ruined. But, if a surge protector is installed in the home, there is nothing to worry about. Since a surge protector is useful year round, it may as well be installed now– no need to wait for a hurricane.
To Do As Soon As the News of an Impending Hurricane Breaks
Strap Down the HVAC Unit
Yes, AC units are heavy, but that doesn’t mean they are ironclad in a hurricane. To help keep it stationary during a storm, an outdoor AC unit should be strapped down. There are straps made just for this purpose, and they should be in place as soon as a hurricane is on the horizon.
Clean Up the Yard
Any large items in a yard are potential hazards to the HVAC unit. Seemingly harmless objects can destroy equipment when heavy winds blow through. Check the yard for any loose lawn tools, toys, or even tree branches and make sure everything is strapped down or put in a safe place.
To Do When the Storm Is About to Hit:
Remove Any Window Units
Hurricanes often come when the weather is still warm, so most homeowners won’t have packed up their window units yet. However, it is crucial that they are unplugged and removed before the hurricane arrives. Leaving them installed can ruin them, but it can also turn them into projectiles, causing additional damage to the home.
Cover the HVAC Unit
Hurricanes dishevel the world around them, which means debris is sure to make its way into the HVAC system if it is not covered. A strapped down tarp should be sufficient.
Turn Off the Breakers
The last thing that should be done before the storm hits is to turn off the breakers. This can prevent further damage if the home gets hit hard. After the storm has passed, the HVAC unit may need to be restarted, but that’s a simple fix.
Of course, sometimes a hurricane is so strong that damage is inevitable. But, if these steps are followed, the chance of needing substantial repairs is minimal. After a hurricane has passed, an inspection of the HVAC system is always a good idea.