Sometimes it feels like the sun is never going to shine. Spring may bring flowers, but it can also bring torrential downpours and tornadoes. Then, just when you think you are out of the woods, along comes summer and in some locations, the beginning of hurricane season. In between scorching temperatures and thunderstorms, somehow winter rolls around and the snow begins to fall.
Continue reading to learn tips on how to prepare your HVAC unit for a storm.
HVAC Storm Preparations
The heating and air conditioning system you pay for is quite the investment. As such, it pays to make sure your HVAC unit is properly maintained and your home is comfortable during any kind of storm. The first thing you need to do when preparing your HVAC unit for a storm is to make sure that it is secured. Purchasing “hurricane straps” or a cage will help prevent the equipment as well as it’s components from being blown away.
Some HVAC units do come with custom cases, but making sure your unit is secured to the ground is vital.
Preparing For a Snow Storm & Preparing For a Hurricane
Properly preparing your HVAC unit for a snowstorm can conserve energy, lower the cost of your energy bill and most importantly, extends the life of the unit.
Here are three ways to prepare an HVAC unit for a snowstorm:
Change the air filters - The air filters within an HVAC system are known for getting dirty over time. If an air filter is clogged with allergens like dirt, dander, and dust, the HVAC system is going to be putting in double the work to provide heat to the household. If you or someone in the house smokes or owns a pet, the filter can clog up even faster. It’s recommended that you change your filters every three months.
Maintain the furnace - Some people may not know this, but furnaces will wear down over time. If this happens, it’s going to require a bit of maintenance. Contact your local HVAC technician at Morris Heating and Air Conditioning and have them perform a furnace tune-up. This will ensure your equipment is protected from potential damages. In addition to tuning up the furnace, your technician will also check the pressure of the gas, electrical switches as well as the motors and belts.
Make sure to have a backup generator - During the harsh, cold storm, most of the electrical lines can become heavy due to all the snow piled up on it. As a result, they can fall, essentially leaving you and many others with no power. And with no power means no working HVAC system, fridge to keep food cold, etc... Give it some thought to consider installing a generator for your home.
If you thought a snow storm was bad, hurricanes are much worse. Before anything, it’s important to pre-cool your home first. Simply turn the AC down a smidge and make sure all windows and doors are shut. It will not stay at these temperatures the full night, but it will start you off in any major storm with some level of comfort. When there are hurricanes, there are thunderstorms and these are the two main contributors to power outages. With that said, make sure to turn the electricity off and unplug the unit.
After that, it’s crucial that you make sure your HVAC unit is bolted down. If not, there’s a high chance that it’s gonna be carried off by the storm. A surefire way to prevent this is to apply straps to the unit. Furthermore, there’s a huge risk for flooding when a hurricane is upon you. So, it may be in your best interest that you elevate the HVAC system to a high enough level to avoid any water damage.
After any type of major storm passes, it's always in best practices to contact a trusted HVAC expert to inspect your unit and potentially air ducts before starting it up again.
Albeit it summer, winter or fall, proper HVAC maintenance is a must. With over 20 years in the business, Morris Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning specializes in HVAC storm prep, emergency repair or routine service calls. We here when you need us.