There are many ways to prepare for rain besides sporting an umbrella and rubber boots. Debris, flooding, and lightning could all do some serious damage to your home, so it’s important to protect your HVAC system. Before the storm unleashes its rain of terror, take the necessary precautions to safeguard the investment you’ve made in your home’s heating and cooling system.
During a storm, debris like fallen leaves and shingles, pine cones and needles, and twigs and branches can get stuck in your air conditioner and ruin the motor. Invest in a cover to protect equipment from ice and windblown debris. You could also use plywood or a tarp with safety straps. Just make sure to remove the cover before you turn the cooling system back on after a storm.
Electrical and refrigeration connectors, couplings, and fittings can become disconnected during a storm and damaged by water. Wires between the outoor unit and home could short out if they are frayed and exposed to the elements, causing electrical damage. Blown fuses, burnt capacitors, and fried compressors are expensive to repair and replace.
Make sure your HVAC units have been installed above flood level on an elevated platform with at least three feet of clearance. Nearby gutter downspouts should be pointed away from the outdoor unit so it doesn’t sit in a pool of water. This is also important to protect your home’s foundation from moisture intrusion and basement flooding, which could jeopardize your indoor units.
Lightning is quite striking to watch until it causes a power surge. Before a storm, turn off the breakers to disconnect power from your air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace, and install a surge protector if you don’t already have one. A surge protector will automatically turn off your HVAC system if there’s a spike in power.
Extreme power fluctuations can damage an air conditioner’s capacitor, which in turn can ruin the compressor and put more wear on the unit. So don’t be shocked if a power surge shortens equipment life.
After the Storm
After the storm blows over, you’ll want to check for damage before turning your HVAC units back on. Schedule repair or replacement with a professional HVAC technician if there are problems. Heating & Cooling Two can install a new furnace, air conditioner, or other HVAC accessories for your home or business, should you need it. We’re prepared to help you maintain indoor comfort no matter what weather rolls through your area.