Spring brings flowers and pleasant temperatures, but it also brings storms that can be severe. Before strong winds herald the arrival of the Ohio storm season, make sure your HVAC equipment is ready. Here are some steps you can take to prevent damage.
Clear and Clean
Clear away all debris from your yard and especially from around the outdoor HVAC equipment. This includes anything that could be lifted by strong winds, such as patio furniture, garden tools, plant clippings, branches and sticks. If these are thrown hard enough against the HVAC unit, it could incur costly damage. Loose leaves and similar material won’t dent the metal case, but they can be blown inside the unit and mean extra maintenance tasks later.
In addition to clearing the ground, check the tree canopy above. Trim trees of dead branches that could break fall on the HVAC equipment or your home.
Cover the Outdoor HVAC Component
When a storm is forecast, turn the power off to the HVAC system and cover the outside component with a tarp or a storm/hurricane cover designed especially for these. Make certain it is strongly secured. If you use a tarp, you can secure it to the unit with rope or bungee cords. Place bricks or some other kind of weight on the top to hold the tarp down.
Alternatively, secure a heavy plank of plywood atop the unit. The main purpose is to keep windblown debris from entering the unit.
Safeguard the Electrical System
In any given year, Ohio storm season brings a chance for severe lightning and resulting power outages. If bad lightning has been predicted by forecasters, it is better to be safe than sorry regarding your HVAC system. Turn off the power and shut off the breakers that are assigned to your HVAC appliances. This will offer some protection against serious damage from electrical surges.
If you use window air conditioners for supplemental cooling, unplug them from the power outlets until the storm passes.
For more information about preparing your home for the Ohio storm season, please contact us at Detmer and Sons.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Dayton, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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