From making sure your outdoor plants are protected to insisting the kids pick up all their outdoor toys, chances are there are a number of precautionary steps you take when a nasty storm is approaching. However, while performing all the usual steps to ensure your home's exterior and interior is prepared, you might be overlooking another crucial aspect: your HVAC system. Don't allow your HVAC system to suffer needless damage. Here are a few ways protect it from the rain and wind:
Protecting the Exterior HVAC Unit
Making sure that your exterior HVAC unit is protected is vital and begins when you first purchase and install the system. Here are a few tips that you can utilize to ensure your HVAC unit is ready to go once the clouds have passed:
While the HVAC unit is being installed, speak with the technician about the proper placement. The technician will recommend installing the unit off the ground and above the flood level.
Purchase a cover for your unit. There are several options available, including canvas covers or custom-built wooden lattice models. Whatever you choose, make sure the unit is completely protected from the elements.
Clean up any debris, yard waste, outdoor toys or patio furniture that is near the unit. This will ensure none of these loose items are picked up by the wind and thrown into your unit.
During the storm, turn off any power to your HVAC unit. This will help ensure that any power surges don't cause some serious damage.
Preparing Your Basement and Turning The Unit Back On
In addition to making sure the exterior unit is well-protected, it's important to ensure that the HVAC's components that are found in the basement are also safe. Once again, in order to provide the optimal level of protection it's important to plan ahead.
The best way to prevent damage caused by flood water is to have a sump pump installed in your basement. If there is any standing water in your basement, which could damage the HVAC unit, the pump automatically switches on. According to Home Advisor, the average homeowner will spend approximately $600 to $1500 dollars to have a sump pump professionally installed.
Once the storm has passed and before you turn your A/C back on, examine the exterior unit for any damage. If there was any severe damage or if the HVAC unit is under water, don't turn it back on, and instead, contact a technician immediately. Not only are you at risk for a serious shock, flooded HVAC units can be contaminated with any germs that are found in the flood waters.
Next, check out the furnace exhaust vent, which is located on the roof. The vent, which is typically a small metal pipe, is used to eliminate the carbon-monoxide fumes that are naturally created by the unit. If the pipe is missing or severely damaged, don't turn on the unit. Contact an HVAC technician, like those at Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp, to repair the pipe first.
Finally, whether there was any water-related damage to the unit or not, it's best to replace the HVAC filter. If the filter becomes contaminated with flood water, it could spread germs throughout your home once the unit is turned back on.
Making sure the exterior and interior components of your HVAC system remain safe during and after a severe storm is essential to prevent unnecessary damage. Unfortunately, even if you take the above-mentioned precautions, there is still a chance Mother Nature can cause a catastrophe. If this occurs, don't try to repair the damage yourself. Instead, contact a technician to ensure the unit is fixed correctly and quickly!