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Precautionary Measures To Take Before A Hurricane To Protect Your HVAC Unit

Hurricanes and severe weather events can pose significant risks to your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. Taking precautions before, during, and after a hurricane can help protect your HVAC system and ensure its proper functioning. Here are some guidelines:

Before the Hurricane:

  1. Secure Outdoor Unit:
    • If you have an outdoor unit (e.g., air conditioner or heat pump), secure it by fastening it to a concrete pad using hurricane straps or brackets. This can prevent it from being lifted or displaced during high winds.
  2. Trim Surrounding Trees and Branches:
    • Trim trees and branches near the outdoor unit to reduce the risk of debris damaging the unit during strong winds.
  3. Cover Outdoor Unit:
    • Consider covering the outdoor unit with a waterproof tarp or specialized HVAC cover. This can protect the unit from flying debris and heavy rain.
  4. Shut Off Power:
    • Turn off the power to your HVAC system at the circuit breaker before the hurricane arrives. This can prevent electrical damage in case of power surges or flooding.
  5. Elevate Outdoor Unit:
    • If you’re in an area prone to flooding, elevate the outdoor unit on a platform or bricks to prevent water damage.
  6. Secure Indoor Components:
    • Ensure that indoor components such as air handlers and furnaces are secure. If possible, move valuable items away from vents and openings.

During the Hurricane:

  1. Leave System Off:
    • Keep the HVAC system turned off during the storm to avoid potential damage from power fluctuations and electrical surges.
  2. Stay Informed:
    • Stay informed about weather updates and evacuation notices. If authorities recommend evacuation, leave your home and secure it as best as possible.

After the Hurricane:

  1. Assess Damage:
    • After the hurricane has passed and it’s safe to do so, assess the damage to your HVAC system. Look for signs of flooding, debris damage, or displacement.
  2. Do Not Use Flooded Equipment:
    • If your HVAC system has been submerged in floodwaters, do not attempt to use it. Contact a professional HVAC technician to inspect and assess the damage.
  3. Remove Cover:
    • If you covered the outdoor unit, carefully remove the cover to inspect the unit for any damage. Clean the unit and remove any debris.
  4. Check for Water Damage:
    • Inspect the indoor components for water damage. If you suspect water has entered the system, do not attempt to restart it. Contact a professional for a thorough inspection.
  5. Schedule Professional Inspection:
    • Schedule a professional HVAC inspection to assess the condition of your system, including electrical components, refrigerant levels, and overall functionality.
  6. Restore Power Safely:
    • If you turned off the power before the hurricane, restore it only after a professional inspection confirms that it’s safe to do so.

Remember, safety is the top priority during severe weather events. If you have concerns about your HVAC system or if it has been exposed to extreme weather conditions, consult with a qualified HVAC professional in Myrtle Beach, like Beach Air, for a thorough inspection and necessary repairs.

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