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How to Protect your HVAC from Hurricanes

Who’s ready for three weeks or so of driving rain, power outages and a lot of uncertainty?  Definitely not this guy, but considering that we have already had two named storms at the time of this writing, my thinking is that it makes solid economic sense to be prepared. 

Though I tend to be skeptical about the ability of meteorologists to predict the weather, especially as it pertains to long-term events, erring on the side of caution is simply the safest bet sometimes.  This is underscored by the fact that researchers at North Carolina State University recently issued a press release stating that the Atlantic basin will see 18 to 22 named storms in 2020.

After performing their magic, the researchers concluded that eight to 11 of the storms will turn into hurricanes, with three to five of them forecasted to become major hurricanes.  If you’re anything like me, the thought of dealing with so many storms brings an onslaught of emotions followed by massive preparedness. 

By this point, I would guess that most, if not all of my friends and neighbors here in the Southeast have heard about the importance of having an evacuation plan, a kit filled with emergency items, an idea about which belongings and important papers to save, or a checklist about what to do if deciding to shelter in place.  All of that notwithstanding, don’t forget about the most expensive component in your home.  There are a number of easy, effective steps to help an HVAC system find shelter from the storm.  

Flip the Switch

Protecting an HVAC system can be as simple as turning off the breakers prior to a storm event.  Due to the fact that hurricanes and other major storms can cause power surges and power outages, turning off the power supply to the unit can be an effective safety precaution.  For those with a gas furnace, an important safety measure would be to turn off the gas supply.  Finally, when the storm is over, a good idea to ensure the viability of the system moving forward would be to have a licensed professional perform an inspection before restarting.

Eliminate Flying Debris

Given the appearance of most HVAC systems, it can be surprising for many home owners to learn that the components are actually quite delicate.  In fact, the outdoor components of an HVAC system, particularly the fan blades, can be vulnerable to airborne debris.  Being proactive about reducing the possibility of airborne debris impacting the system is an easy way to provide it with some protection.

Lawn chairs, grills, dead tree limbs and forgotten toys can quickly turn into missiles if the wind speed is high enough.  Spending a few hours putting these items in a garage or storage shed prior to the arrival of a storm is essential to heading off problems before they happen.  It can also be worthwhile to double check the bolts that secure your system to the ground, or to cover the system with a tarp to prevent damage from swirling airborne particles and debris. 

While it may not be practical to move an HVAC unit to an elevated platform prior to the arrival of a storm, especially if time is a factor, doing so could prevent damage from rising flood waters.  Of course, there’s no way to ensure the absolute safety of your HVAC system if a storm were to hit the area, or to prevent a power outage from occurring.  With that in mind, the best way to ensure the comfort of your family is to have a generator installed; preferably one that is tied into the electrical system and features a home transfer switch, for a seamless, easy experience.  With so many storms on the way, now could be the time to purchase a generator.  To get a quote about having an advanced Honeywell Generac generator installed at your home, or for questions about how to prepare your HVAC for a storm event, please call 910-791-0480, text 910-612-0053, or email chris@greendothvac.com

Chris Jones and the team at Green Dot HVAC are committed to provide their clients with a consultative, transparent approach, driven by innovative technology and a diligent work ethic.  With a team of highly trained and versatile technicians, a focus on helping clients make informed decisions, and a commitment to deliver substantial value, Green Dot HVAC is a leader in the Southeast North Carolina marketplace.  To arrange a free at-home consultation, a repair/installation or simply find guidance about the nuances of modern heating and air conditioning systems, call 910-791-0480 or text 910-612-0052.

 

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