It’s always good to be prepared for stormy weather, because here in the midwest, you can be sure that it’ll hit you sooner or later. While many consider putting together an emergency kit for that inevitable storm – that includes flashlights, batteries, lots of bottled water, a first aid kit, and provisions – many don’t think of preparing their home and appliances for inclement weather.
At Meyer Heating & Air, we’re A/C contractors in St. Louis that perform a lot of HVAC repairs that could have been avoided if the correct measures were taken by the homeowner before a storm hit. So, we’ve put together a few simple tips for preparing your HVAC for the stormy season.
The most common type of serious issue we see after a storm is an external HVAC system being physically damaged by the storm. External units typically don’t need to be covered from the rain, but if you’re expecting, say, heavy snow, then a cover of some sort can give your HVAC a little breathing space. Hail and excessive rainfall can also damage an A/C unit to the point that air conditioning repair is required. A simple cover can do a world of good.
The other type of physical damage we see is from debris hitting the AC unit. Though external units are made of sturdy stuff, they’re not designed to take a beating from flying tables, chairs, or loose debris. Make sure that all of your garden furniture, tools, and accessories are all securely stored or tied down when there’s a storm on the horizon.
Another problem we sometimes see is electrical systems being harmed by lightning strikes. When lightning strikes, a huge surge of electricity can be sent through all your electrical devices at once. Fuses and grounding systems attempt to solve some of this issue, but for better protection, use a surge protector.
In case of extreme storms where you’re expecting lightning, we even recommend you turn off the system, if you can. Though surge protectors work very well, to be even safer you can switch off your appliances – including your HVAC system – so they’re much less likely to be affected by a massive spike in power. Switching off all non-essential appliances at the fusebox can seem inconvenient, but it’s nothing compared to the inconvenience of having to replace all your household electronics.
If there’s anything wrong with your HVAC system, then stormy weather can turn a minor issue into a big headache. We recommend getting HVAC maintenance in St. Louis on a regular basis. Not only does it help us catch any issues early, it also ensures when stormy weather comes around, your HVAC will be ready to take it on head-first.
The maintenance of your HVAC system, of course, has many other benefits. HVAC systems unfortunately get clogged and need regular maintenance to work their best. You’ll probably notice that if you leave your HVAC for a long time without maintenance it performs poorly and doesn’t cool your home properly. Regular maintenance fixes this.
Without regular A/C maintenance, your system will use more electricity to cool your home as you need to turn it up higher and use it for longer (which is especially important to consider now that the weather is warming up). It really just makes better financial sense to keep your HVAC well maintained. While you may be paying a nominal regular maintenance fee, in the end, you’re saving more money on your electricity bill than you’re spending on the maintenance (not to mention that your system is working better all the while and will last longer).
If you’re expecting the worst stormy weather, such as a tornado, you need to take even more steps. Cover the HVAC system with a tarp or wood to protect it from flying debris, but also ensure it’s adequately secured itself. An HVAC system that comes loose in a storm can do some significant damage and be a costly repair.
All in all, these are pretty common sense solutions, but some people neglect to think about them until it’s too late. If you need any help with your HVAC system, from HVAC repair in St. Louis to ongoing HVAC maintenance, get in touch with Meyer Heating & Air, or schedule a service appointment online. We look forward to working with you!
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