How To Protect Your HVAC System Before The Big Storm
Here in Atlanta, it’s only a matter of time before the next big storm hits. Whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, or even a big snowfall, we have the potential of wild weather almost every month of the year.
Yet most of us are ready for it. We have an emergency supply of food, flashlights, and water for the just-in-case. You might have shutters to secure out storms. Or have an emergency generator to avoid power loss.
But what about your HVAC unit? Your HVAC equipment is one of the most important systems in your home. It’s also one of the most expensive. It’s designed to hold up against most weather conditions. There are still things you can do to ensure it’s prepared in the event of an upcoming storm. Safety is always first. But if you have time, consider these.
What to do to prepare for a big storm:
- Turn off the breaker to your HVAC system. This can help protect your system from electrical surges, or damage caused by debris that may be trapped while the unit is operating.
- Turn off the gas supply to a gas furnace.
- Secure exterior HVAC units and ensure they are tightly sealed and all screws are tightened.
- Cover your outside unit if there might be a threat of damage from nearby trees or structures.
- Elevate your HVAC unit to avoid damage from flooding.
What to do after a storm:
If your HVAC unit was exposed to high winds, flooding, or you suspect damage in any way, it will need to be inspected before you continue using it. Do not turn on your HVAC system until a full inspection by a professional technician has occurred.
Gas furnaces and boilers have valves and controls that are vulnerable to water damage. If heavy rain or flooding has occurred, the damage might not be visible. Corrosion can occur inside the unit and impact how it works long before visible signs show on the outside.
Propane heating is extremely vulnerable to damage. Propane equipment has a gas pressure regulator that has a small vent to sense outside pressure. If this clogs or is damaged, it can cause corrosion or dangerous malfunction. Inspect as quickly as possible.
Heat pumps and air conditioners are susceptible to damage with control wiring that runs between inside and outside parts, as well as refrigerant piping that flows throughout the system. Even a small amount of floodwater can increase the likelihood of refrigerant leaks. The entire system should be cleaned, checked, and evaluated before further use.
Ducts can be vulnerable if they come in contact with flood water. Insulation cannot be salvaged, but instead, must be replaced. A thorough cleaning should take place to ensure joints are sealed, ducts are properly assembled, and properly insulated.
A water heater should be replaced if it comes in contact with flood water. Valves, controls, the tank, and the thermostat can all corrode with water damage. Insulation can quickly become contaminated.
If your HVAC system is impacted by a storm, call in one of our technicians as quickly as possible to inspect, repair, and replace any piece of equipment damaged. We’ll get you back on track as soon as possible.