How to Protect Your HVAC Unit to be Damaged By A Flood or Storm

It is extremely important to protect the HVAC system from extreme weather.

You all are familiar with extreme weathers such floods, blizzards, rainstorms, hailstorms or other unfortunate weather situations. If your HVAC unit is damaged due to one of these, there are certain steps that should be taken.

 

First of all, prevention is better than resolving the issue. There are ways to protect your HVAC unit before the damage occurs, but it’s not uncommon for people to only take advantage of these ways once they’ve already experienced the damage. Here are a few tips to protect your HVAC unit and what to do for preventing it from damage.

 

Covering the HVAC Unit

You may not think a storm has much power over a sturdy HVAC unit, but that is not true. Just like it’s recommended to clean around your HVAC unit if it’s surrounded by an excessive amount of leaves, dirt and debris, it’s also recommended to lay a cover over the unit to protect it from impact, especially if there is a storm in the upcoming forecast. High winds could cause leaves, dirt, debris, hail, rocks, branches, snow build-up and more to impact the unit. Having that extra protection will limit the risk of damage.

A tight canvas cover and hail guards are beneficial choices. Without hail guards, hailstones can leave dents in the aluminum fins, which can then impact the coil and air flow.

Along with covering, if your HVAC unit isn’t securely anchored, you should place sandbags around the unit to help to keep it from moving

 

Preparing for Possible Power Outages

Unplugging  power by using your circuit breakers from your HVAC unit is the safest bet if your area is expecting a severe thunderstorm and predicted power outages. Lightning and heavy winds are bad news for the HVAC unit. If lightning strikes the unit, your home could be in danger. If you didn’t get a chance to unplug it before the storm or power outage, use your best judgment. Do not go near the unit if the storm has caused power lines to come down or if it’s submerged in water.

Turn Off Your Thermostat

Even if you’ve shut off the breaker, thermostats which have a battery backup might still be operating at a reduced capacity. If electrical signals are being sent to the control boards and the control boards are submerged, it could be a problem. Your heating and cooling unit is expensive, you do not want to take any chances.

 

Clearing the Vicinity of the HVAC Unit

If your outdoor HVAC unit is not in its own isolated area, you’ll want to clear the vicinity. This means putting away anything that can be picked up by wind and cause damage to the unit. Examples include lawn chairs, tables, barbecues, umbrellas and anything else that may be near it.

 

Inspecting the HVAC Unit Afterwards

If you unplugged power from your HVAC unit, be sure to inspect it before plugging it back in and turning it on. This recommendation is not only for the HVAC unit’s protection and preventing further damage, it’s for your own safety as well. While you’re inspecting your unit, you may come across something that can be fixed with a simple HVAC repair. If you see that the unit is submerged in water, contact an HVAC specialist immediately.

If you see your HVAC unit is safe to restart after inspecting it, make sure you remove the canvas cover, protection which was applied before the storm.

 

Placing Your HVAC Unit if Your Area is Prone to Flooding

If you’re living in an area that’s prone to flooding and heavy rain, consider the placement of your HVAC unit, especially if you’re just installing a new one. Make sure it’s installed above the usual flood line. If it’s already installed, there are options to raise it.

Taking Proactive Measures

If you’ve lived in Washington DC Metro area any length of time, you will understand that both  Summers and Winter season can be intense here. Taking some proactive steps to safeguard your HVAC system can save you a lot of time and money. Here are some important points to consider:

  • Move your outdoor unit to higher ground, preferably on an elevated concrete base. In case it is not there, you can contact HVAC professionals to get this done.
  • Hire a contractor to build a wall around the unit. This will safe guard from many extreme weather events.
  • Make sure to install a sump pump in your basement to prevent indoor flooding. If it is there, regular checkup is needed to make sure it will when needed.
  • Keep your yard clean so your HVAC system is not damaged by trees and debris due to strong winds.Trim or remove landscaping that are around your HVAC system.

Taking these actions before the storm arrives is one of the best ways you can protect your home’s

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