Thunderstorms become more frequent during the summer season. In addition to exterior components such as the roof and windows, your HVAC system also needs to be ready in the event a storm hits your area. AC replacement contractor Cool Zone Air Conditioning & Heating shares some tips on how to properly prepare your HVAC system for summer storms.
Turn Off the Power to Your HVAC System at the Circuit Breaker
As soon as the weather shifts and you know for sure a storm is coming, turn off the power to your air conditioner or heat pump from the circuit breaker box. This may make your home slightly uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to save your HVAC unit from a power surge. It also reduces the risk of damage in case of a lightning strike. If you have a window-mounted air conditioner, unplug it from the wall.
Cover Your Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit of your air conditioner or heat pump houses the compressor, which can be vulnerable to damage from wind, rainwater and debris, all of which can result in costly AC repairs. Clear the area around the outdoor unit and cover it with a tarp or similar durable cover. You can secure the tarp by tying it to something stable nearby. Do not use the HVAC unit while it’s still covered, as the heat won’t get vented properly and may cause damage.
Test Your Backup Generator
If you have a backup generator, test it according to manufacturer instructions using a small amount of fuel. Troubleshoot problems while the weather is clear so you can be sure to have a generator you can count on in case the power goes out. Never leave fuel in the tank when you’re not using it; keep it running until it consumes all the fuel. Consult its care and maintenance guide if you encounter any problems.
Call Your HVAC Technician If You Suspect Damage
If you think your air conditioner or heat pump has been damaged by the most recent storm, don’t attempt to conduct repairs. Instead, contact your HVAC technician and schedule a full inspection and possible repairs. If your system is covered by your insurance provider, make sure you and your HVAC technician document the full extent of the damages. This will be required by your insurance adjuster in filing your claim.