Reduce the chance of damage and maintain your home’s indoor air quality to stay comfortable during storm season using our five tips below.
If you’ve lived in places like Pickerington or Reynoldsburg, Ohio and nearby for any length of time, you know that storms bring plenty of wind and rain. Along with that, they often produce power failures that can leave you without the enjoyment of your air conditioning (and other electronic gadgets). Long-term issues to your home’s HVAC system can be caused by storm damage, so it’s important to prepare for them.
1. Surge Protector Installation
Any part of your home’s electrical system can be damaged by lightning during a storm. Modern HVAC systems contain sensitive electronics that can be easily damaged by a lightning strike. We recommend you contact an electrician and install a surge protector (in addition to the home’s breakers) to prevent the devastating effect of lightning strikes. The surge protector takes the hit, not your AC!
2. Shut Down the AC System
Most people don’t think of this step, but simply turning off the AC system when a severe storm is approaching could be the difference between its life and death. My parents always unplugged appliances and electronics from the wall when severe storm warnings were sounded, and that is great advice. You can do the same for your home’s AC by flipping the breaker off to disconnect it from the electrical grid, preventing any lightning strikes from traveling through the home’s electrical circuits to fry the HVAC.
3. Regular Inspections by a Pro
One of the BEST defenses against problems caused by severe summer storms is routine maintenance. Our service technicians will examine the system and look for issues that might be exacerbated by strong winds, rain or lightning. A weak connection to your home electricity, a faulty outdoor quick disconnect, or even a tree branch that could potentially harm the system can be caught by a professional eye.
4. Shield Outdoor Equipment
When a storm is approaching, be sure to secure any loose tools, lawn furniture, or anything else that could blow around and damage the outdoor AC unit. If it’s not fixed to the ground, put it away. Of course, it’s very rare for an AC unit attached to a proper pad to be blown away, but you should check to be sure your system is solidly connected to the pad. Obviously, there is not much you can do about blowing or falling tree branches or house parts swirling around, but you can install a barrier around the outdoor unit to protect it somewhat. We recommend any fencing or protecting barrier be install at least 12” away from the unit
5. Backup Generators Can Be a Lifesaver
Are you prepared for a short- or long-term power outage? It seems the older the neighborhoods (the ones with a number of mature trees and/or above ground power lines) seem to be more at risk of power outages. The typical gas-fired portable power generator doesn’t produce enough electricity to power the average home’s AC equipment – save that for running the refrigerator and for keeping your cell phone charge. If power outages are a regular thing in your area, you should consider installing a natural gas-powered permanent generator that can power your whole house during those outages.
Be sure to keep that portable generator away from open windows and doors, the exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide. Permanent generators, properly installed, shouldn’t present any sort of similar danger.
While we can’t guarantee that your power won’t go out during a severe storm, or that lightning won’t fry your home’s AC system, these tips can help you best prepare for the typical summer storm we will be seeing in the coming months.
About Dor-Mar Heating & Air Conditioning
In continuous operation since 1962, our expertise goes beyond just the mechanicals of your HVAC system. We’re pretty handy when it comes to ductwork and system-wide maintenance as well. For top-notch service keeping your home’s heating and cooling system clean and your family breathing clean, filtered air, contact Dor-Mar today.
Our team offers a wide array of routine maintenance and emergency services for your heating and cooling system, allowing your family to breathe fresh, safe, clean air and be comfortable year-round. We also offer a number of add-ons to your HVAC equipment that can improve your home’s IAQ, such as electrostatic air filters, whole-house humidifiers, duct cleaning, Ultraviolet-C lighting systems, and more.
Schedule an appointment for HVAC system troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one of our seven neighborhood offices listed below. We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it.
Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!