Being that we’re in the peak of hurricane season, it’s important to make sure our homes are prepared, and this includes the HVAC unit. With high winds, the potential for heavy flooding, power outages, and more, every homeowner should be aware of the necessary tasks.
I want to note that the well-being of those living in the home comes first. Do not put these tasks before your safety, especially if there’s an evacuation.
If your area is prone to hurricanes or other kinds of storms this time of year, then you may already be used to taking some of these precautions. Being that your HVAC should be maintained regularly, make hurricane preparedness a part of the maintenance. It’s much better to be safe than to lose money and time repairing your home and its assets.
Broken down by three phases — before the storm, during the storm and after the storm — this list will leave you feeling confident that you’ve covered everything.
Before the Storm:
Remove any free material or debris from around the unit. This will help prevent your HVAC from being damaged when the storm does come. Whether it’s an object that has the power to put a dent in the unit, or debris that can cause harmful buildup, it’s important to get every last bit.
Make sure the unit is tight to the ground. If it is loose, it’s best to invest in straps or brackets.
Cover the unit with a canvas cover or tarp. This is mainly to protect the exterior, but it’s helping to protect the interior at the same time. Just like the unit itself, make sure the cover is secure as well. You can use bungee cords for assistance.
During the Storm:
Keep an eye on the unit, but try not to go outside for it.
Also, turn off the power to the unit when the storm begins. If there’s a power outage, you won’t have to worry about the unit. You can focus on it once the storm is over.
After the Storm:
At this point, you can go outside to your unit to check for damage. Refrain from touching the unit if it’s flooded with water. This makes it unsafe to turn back on, not only for electricity reasons, but for mildew and mold reasons. Call a professional.
Remove the cover before restarting if it appears safe to do so.
Along with hurricane season, it’s almost fall. As the seasons change, so do the maintenance tasks. For your benefit, here’s a helpful infographic from The BP Group, the professionals of HVAC. New York is where they’re located, but this checklist is still pretty relevant. Check out #4!
Getting back to South Carolina, here’s some footage of Tropical Storm Hermine: