Storm season impacts Florida residents from spring until fall. Don’t leave your home unprepared! It’s easy to forget about your HVAC system when a storm is ready to hit. However, if you’re prepared, you can avoid costly damage. Stay on top of storm readiness so your home and HVAC system are safe.
The HVAC experts at J&W Heating and Air care about helping our clients protect their homes from the dangerous and damaging effects of hurricanes and other seasonal storms. We’ve provided HVAC service to Jacksonville, Florida for over 50 years. We understand storm season!
Before the Season Starts
Schedule Regular Maintenance
The best way to prepare your HVAC system for storm season is with regularly scheduled maintenance. Not only will maintaining your system save you money by catching needed repairs and cleaning your system to run more efficiently, but an expert technician can identify any potential problems. For example, your unit may be lacking a surge protector, or your condenser not be properly stationed outside.
J&W Heating and Air offers easy and convenient Preventable Maintenance Plans to our clients. Contact us today to sign up and keep your HVAC system in top shape.
Add a Surge Protector
Big storms can lead to power outages and power surges. The damage adds up quickly! The average insurance claim from power surge damage is $4329. Protect your home from costly electrical damage by installing a whole-house surge protector designed to divert excess currents away from your valuable electronics including your HVAC system.
For extra protection, add a plug-in surge protector to the outlet connected to your HVAC system. A point-of-use surge protection device serves as a backup to your whole house surge protector. These are a good investment for all sensitive electronic equipment throughout your home.
Inspect Condenser Anchors
The most vulnerable part of your HVAC system during a storm is the outside condenser unit. The unit will be exposed to flying debris, extreme winds, hail damage, and flooding. While you can’t protect against all potential damage, you can take steps to ensure your condenser unit is properly attached to the ground and your home.
An experienced HVAC company will properly install your equipment. First, your unit should sit on a concrete pad as a stable base. Then, your unit should be tethered to your home with secure metal straps. Have these checks in place prior to a storm to minimize damage.
When a Storm is Forecasted
Cover Outdoor Equipment
As we said, the outdoor condenser unit is at risk during a harsh storm or hurricane. Once you’ve properly anchored your system, your only task before the storm is to cover the unit. You can use the tarp or condenser cover that you use to protect against winter weather. Also, for extremely strong storms consider covering your unit with plywood boards for added protection.
The risks to your condenser unit are primarily damage from debris. Coils and fins may be damaged if the unit is left uncovered.
Shut Off Your System
Even with a surge protector in place, you should unplug or shut off the breaker to your unit to avoid electrical damage. You don’t want to run your AC unit during a storm. If you’re evacuating, consider shutting off the unit before you leave. If you’re staying in place, you can wait until the storm is close to turning the unit off so that your home is as cool as possible prior to the storm hitting.
After the Storm Passes
Inspect Your HVAC System
The period after a storm hits is just as stressful as the preparation phase. After the storm, it may be tempting to turn your system on to cool your home off quickly. However, take the time to inspect for damage. Especially with the outdoor condenser, you could cause more damage if debris is in the unit when you turn it on.
For the outside, remove the cover first. Then remove any branches or other debris. Inspect the coils and fins for any bent or damaged areas. If you see obvious damage or if your unit was flooded, contact your HVAC professionals before you turn your unit on.
Inside, plug your unit in or turn on the breaker. After you turn the unit back on, listen to your system for any weird noises. After about 15 minutes, check your vents to ensure cool air is coming from the system. Turn the unit off immediately if you see or smell smoke, hear weird sounds, or if the unit isn’t cooling.
Be Prepared This Storm Season!
Don’t forget your HVAC unit. We want you and your home to be safe this storm season. Follow our simple plan for preparation before, during, and after a storm. Contact the HVAC experts at J&W Heating and Air to schedule maintenance. We are Jacksonville, Florida’s HVAC professionals.
After a storm, contact us with questions or repairs for your HVAC system. We believe in quality customer service!