Here in lowcountry South Carolina, hurricane season is upon us. Last fall brought a 1,000 year storm and flooding to our coastal and midland regions, and parts of Louisiana have recently seen catastrophic flooding. As part of Cooper Mechanical Services’ blog series on hurricane preparedness, we have already discussed safety precautions for power outages and how to handle water-damaged HVAC systems. While your first priority should be the safety of human lives and the availability of food and fresh water, sometimes early warning systems and storm-trackers allow us time to “storm-ready” our homes and possessions.
Before the Hurricane: Storm-Ready Your HVAC Unit
If you’ve ever had to replace an HVAC unit or major component, you’re aware that it can be expensive. Before severe weather hits, take these precautions to “storm-ready” your system and minimize your HVAC unit’s exposure to wind, water and debris.
- Ensure that your outside unit is secure to its base and does not freely move or wobble. Consider hurricane straps or metal hold-down brackets to secure your unit.
- Inspect your outside unit for debris and remove any loose material in or around the unit.
- Cover your HVAC unit with a nylon or vinyl tarp and secure it with bungie cords to help keep debris out of your unit during the storm.
If you have ample time to prepare, consider trimming trees and moving or removing nearby items that could damage your home and HVAC system during extreme winds.
During the Hurricane: Shut Off Power to Your Unit
Your personal safety is the most important during a storm, but if you wish to protect major systems and appliances in your home, it is wise to turn off your air-conditioning and heating system during the storm. Hurricanes often bring mass power outages, and ensuring that your major systems are off can reduce the negative effects of a power surge when power is restored.
After the Hurricane: Inspect and Call Cooper
Careful inspection of your unit and system is important. If your system has been submerged in standing water, it is important to have a certified technician inspect it. As we noted before, HVAC units and ducts can become breeding grounds for dangerous bacteria and mold after severe weather and flooding.
Cooper Mechanical Services knows HVAC systems and has been serving the Myrtle Beach and greater Grand Strand area since 1989. Our licensed professionals are ready to install, maintain, and repair the HVAC systems in your home and workplace. Don’t wait for the next natural disaster to start being pro-active. Call Cooper and let us help you prepare your home systems for extreme weather.