There have been more than 150 hurricanes recorded in the last 10 years. That’s an increase from the previous decade’s number.
While these storms don’t always amount to a lot of damage, they certainly have that potential. If you live in a hurricane-prone zone it’s very important to know how to protect yourself and your property before the storm hits.
Your home has a lot of vulnerabilities that need to be taken care of, including your HVAC system.
We’ve compiled seven of the most common mistakes people make in HVAC hurricane preparation so you can avoid them!
1. Insufficient Insurance Coverage
Every homeowner needs to have a homeowner’s insurance policy and usually, that’s mandated by their lender. But not all policies are created equally.
When you live in an area that is prone to these types of storms it’s really important to have an insurance policy that will cover damage to all areas of your home. And that definitely includes your HVAC unit.
Most insurance agencies will work with you to find the policy that has the coverage you’re looking for.
You may have to add extra pieces onto the policy to customize it fully but it’s worth the time and the little higher price tag to make sure that if there is a hurricane and something does happen to your expensive HVAC system, you’ll be able to fix it.
2. Forgetting to Purchase a Generator
In the event of a major storm, it’s likely that the power will be knocked out. Sometime that outage will last a few hours but sometimes it can last for days.
Luckily, there are generators you can purchase to have on hand for just this type of situation.
A generator is a really important thing to add to your hurricane preparation budget and get purchased. After the storm is over and the power is out, you can use the power from the generator to turn your HVAC unit on to cool down your home.
Having a generator is hurricane preparedness 101 and will make a huge difference after a major storm.
3. Going Uncovered
When a storm starts and you start to get your house ready for impact, don’t forget to go outside and cover your AC unit.
This simple task will make a big difference in how your unit works after the storm has passed. These machines are designed to be outdoors but a hurricane isn’t normal outdoor conditions. The heavy rain and wind associated can cause damage.
A cover will protect the unit from those elements and also flying debris that could get in as well.
It’s also important to make sure the unit has been installed with hurricane straps, just in case there are really extreme winds that could pull it out of place.
4. Forgoing Yard Maintenance
A major mistake that many who live in hurricane-prone areas make is not keeping up on their yard maintenance. This can lead to extreme HVAC unit damage during a storm.
This task shouldn’t be done as the storm is on its way. Instead, residents of these areas should take care to keep a regular eye on their trees and bushes. They should trim any large and protruding branches.
Those trimmings should be properly disposed of and removed from your property.
This type of maintenance gives the storm less ammo to throw around in the high winds. Fewer branches and sticks mean less damage to your house.
5. Leaving Electricity On
As you hear of a storm coming but before it gets to you, you should cool your house way down with your HVAC unit. And then when the storm is close you need to turn the power off to the unit.
This step is often skipped because people don’t want to potentially have their homes too hot.
But leaving the electricity on can lead to power surges, which can ruin an HVAC unit.
A power surge often happens when the power has gone out and then when it comes back it comes with a very brief higher voltage spike. This spike can send too much power to electronics and systems, which can fry the inner workings.
Turning the electricity off prevents power surges when you turn it back on.
6. Missing the After Storm Clean-up
Before you turn your electricity back on for your HVAC unit, you should make sure to do a visual check of your unit.
If you’ve completed all the proper preparation steps, your unit will likely be clean and clear. When that’s the case you can turn the unit back on with no problems. But occasionally some debris will get in even with preparation.
Debris in an HVAC unit can cause damage to the fan blades or the other machinery. With a quick check, you can see and remove the random branches, rocks, or leaves.
This clean-up is really important to make sure everything will work correctly.
7. Not Installing a Hurricane Kit
A generator isn’t a fail-safe that will work every time. Sometimes a generator, especially one that hasn’t been used in a while, can have problems working at first. But a hurricane preparation kit installed by your HVAC professionals can push it to start.
Regular maintenance and check-ups from the HVAC repairman will help you to have confidence in your setup, even if a storm comes.
The repairman will be able to set you up for minimal damage after a storm. They’ll be able to help you make sure you have the most updated protection measures available.
Best HVAC Hurricane Preparation Tips
Hurricanes occasionally don’t give much warning before they hit big. Or the time you do have to prepare is spent on larger areas of your home than the HVAC system.
But if you’ve already set a plan in place for HVAC hurricane preparation, you can quickly and easily protect your investment to be ready to go after the storm. These simple tips will keep you running throughout the whole season.
If you are ready to get your HVAC system prepped and ready for hurricane season with a hurricane kit, contact us today!