When there’s a storm a-brewin’

With the arrival of the summer season comes the possibility of severe thunderstorms, and last night was no exception. A thunderstorm brings heavy rain, high winds, and lightning strikes, all of which can cause damage to your HVAC system. Do you know how to prepare your home for potential storm damage?

When a severe thunderstorm is announced in your area, there are several preliminary steps you can take to prepare your unit. First, bring in any objects that could strike the outdoor unit, such as patio furniture. Next, turn off your AC unit from the thermostat in order to prevent damage from a power surge or an excessive current flowing into the system in the event of a lightning strike.

Assess whether your family could benefit from a portable or standby generator during power outages. A back-up generator should be used to run necessary electrical appliances and will require extension cords to run into your home. Be sure to place the generator at a reasonable distance from your home, as they emit carbon monoxide, which is dangerous to your family’s health.

(Photo via Radnor Township)

In the even of a power outage, do not turn your AC unit back on until power is restored to your area. It is important to check your circuit breaker to ensure that there are no tripped breakers or blown fuses. After the storm has passed and it is safe to venture outdoors, take the time to carefully inspect your unit. Be sure to clear your unit of leaves and other debris and check for serious damage. In the event of serious damage, contact your local HVAC contractor.

As the age-old tale goes, it is wise to have regular maintenance performed on your AC unit. HVAC appliances should undergo yearly maintenance to ensure that they are equipped to handle the demands of severe weather.