The Bay Area began 2023 with a series of intense storms. Unsafe conditions have caused road closures while high winds have toppled trees and knocked out power. Flash floods, landslides, and intense rain have dominated the news (according to ABC7, San Francisco measured a half year’s worth of rain in two weeks!).1 What many people don’t realize is severe weather can impact HVAC systems. Here’s how to avoid trouble and needing a San Jose HVAC professional during stormy times.
How to Prepare the HVAC System in Your Home for a Storm
Cover the Outdoor Unit
Heavy rain, hail, strong winds, fallen branches, and debris can seriously damage an outdoor HVAC unit. To protect it, place and secure a sturdy cover over the unit. Properly covering the system can avoid expensive repairs even after some of the most significant storms. Also, move tools, outdoor furniture, and other items indoors so high winds don’t blow them onto the equipment.
Install a Surge Protector
With lightning being reported around the Bay Area, your home must be protected. Lightning strikes to power lines and even directly on your home can cause intense surges that damage or destroy large appliances. This can mean the difference between your San Jose HVAC system surviving the storm untouched or having to be replaced.
Turn Off the HVAC System
Most people don’t consider turning off their HVAC system in a storm. But if you live in a flood zone or flood-prone area, leaving the unit off can prevent a substantial amount of damage. Covering the unit will protect it from rain. But this won’t help if the unit is submerged in flood waters.
The main concern is with electrical components. Electricity and water don’t mix. If components are running, exposure to water can cause them to short out. This is less likely if the system is turned off, which can avoid the high costs of repairs or even having to replace major components.
Know When Your HVAC System Has Sustained Storm Damage
Call for service if there are any signs it’s been damaged. If the unit won’t power back on after the storm, even when electricity is restored, storm damage is likely. Also, be aware of reduced heating or cooling output (which can mean refrigerant lines were damaged). If you hear screeching, rattling, or buzzing noises, debris may have gotten stuck in the fans, while if water is pooling around the unit, turn off the power and call a technician to fix any drainage issues.
Schedule Regular Inspections and Maintenance
Having your HVAC system regularly checked by a professional can avoid many issues. While maintenance helps it run more efficiently, it also allows a technician to find minor problems to correct, which can get worse when exposed to the elements during a storm. Therefore, scheduling service before harsh weather arrives can save you a great deal of trouble.
Schedule Maintenance from IRBIS’s San Jose HVAC Professionals
Maintenance can prevent many things from going wrong with your furnace or air conditioner. It can provide peace of mind as well. As the storms keep rolling into Northern California, allow IRBIS to check your system and ensure it’s running well and prepared for the onslaught of more inclement weather. To schedule AC or furnace maintenance in your home, book your appointment on the web or call 669-266-5464 now.