Storm season is around the corner and, in some respects, it’s not uncommon for a severe storm to pass through The Woodlands, TX, any time of year. Usually, when storms blow through town, we worry about our patio furniture, our roof, our landscaping, and maybe even the potential for flooding. Actually, you might want to keep your HVAC system in mind too. Mr. Reliable Heating & Air specializes in heating and AC repair for customers in and near The Woodlands, TX. Sometimes, severe storms wreak havoc with HVAC units, especially with air conditioning systems because of their outdoor location. While you can’t prevent storms from coming to town, you may be able to protect your unit and decrease the need for heating and AC repair after a terrible storm.
How Can Storms Damage Your HVAC System?
Storms can damage your HVAC system in a number of ways. Knowing where your units are most vulnerable can help you prepare for storms and better protect your essential systems with heating and AC repair.
HVAC Unit Won’t Turn Back On
Your furnace and air conditioning system may be vulnerable to power surges. If the storm knocks out power and then the power suddenly comes back on, the power surge created with this action could trip your circuit breaker that handles your HVAC system. You’ve probably heard of power surges ‘frying’ appliances, which is why many people in The Woodlands, TX, rely on surge protectors for their homes. In most cases, your circuit breaker will protect your heating and AC systems from surge-related damage. You simply reset the breaker.
On the other hand, if the unit doesn’t turn back on, you may need heating and AC repair. Mr. Reliable Heating & Air contends with issues like these frequently after powerful storms move through The Woodlands, TX. Our certified HVAC technicians have the skills needed to troubleshoot these types of power-related problems.
If your furnace or AC unit makes strange noises after a storm or at any time, it’s always worth checking out. Unusual noises tend to be cause for concern when it comes to HVAC systems. Our heating and AC repair technicians can inspect your units to determine why it’s making strange sounds. Sometimes it’s simply that a twig has gotten into the unit and is getting caught up in the fans. On the other hand, there could be a mechanical problem that needs checking out. If a storm has caused your unit to make unusual noises, call Mr. Reliable Heating & Air and we’ll send a skilled heating and AC repair technician to inspect your system.
Water Is Encircling Your Unit
If water has pooled around your furnace because of flooding or even around your outdoor AC unit, you should turn off the power at your circuit breaker–providing you can access it safely. If the weather forecast is calling for severe weather and your area is prone to flooding, you may even want to turn off the power to these systems before the storm hits just in case. That’s entirely up to you.
Water and electricity don’t mix. While your outdoor AC system is designed to withstand rain, it should be submerged. If water is pooling around it, there’s a risk of damage to your unit as well as a risk of electrical shock if anyone comes in contact with the submerged or partially submerged system. The region has seen flooding and rough weather before. That’s why it’s important to monitor the news when severe weather systems are forecast for our area.
Rain and flooding aren’t the only problems when it comes to storms. Severe wind can also cause your AC unit to malfunction. After the storm, if you discover that your AC unit isn’t blowing cool air as it did before, it may have incurred some wind damage. We can send a heating and AC repair tech to your home to troubleshoot the problem.
Falling Trees and Tree Limbs
Trees and tree limbs can spell disaster for property owners during storms. There have been cases where uproot trees have fallen on homes or outdoor AC units. A large heavy tree branch could fall and damage an AC unit as well. There have even been cases when the roots of a leaning tree actually begin to lift up the unit from the ground. These are definitely major problems that are likely to require a visit from our heating and AC repair technicians.
Storm Prevention Tips for Your HVAC System
Your HVAC system is, of course, a major aspect of yours. It’s important to protect it. In The Woodlands, TX, we know how quickly storms can occur. The key is to take prevention steps before the storms hit town. Here are a few measures you can take to protect your HVAC system during severe storms.
Secure Your Unit
How secure is your condenser unit? What about your second-story air conditioner? When was the last time you checked? It’s important to be sure that your exterior units are as secure as possible before a severe storm blows into town. For upper story AC units, consider investing in hurricane straps. If your AC unit is in an area that is likely to flood, consider having our HVAC team mount it on higher ground.
Whole-Home Surge Protection
Consider a heating and AC repair company installing a whole-home surge protector to protect all of your household items from surges. A whole-home surge protection plan means you don’t have to rely on individual surge protectors for the various appliances in your home. Whole-home surge protectors are a great investment because they not only protect large appliances like refrigerators but also your home’s wiring, which connects your HVAC system and other major electrical devices throughout your home.
Turn Off Your HVAC System
Another way to protect your HVAC system and guard against the necessity to hire a heating and AC repair technician is to simply turn off your unit before the storm hits. You can turn off the power to your AC system, for example, right at your breaker box. Once the storm subsides, you can turn the breaker back on if all is well.
Cool Your Home before the Storm Hits
The humidity can be pretty sticky. We know that turning the AC unit off during the duration of a storm can be uncomfortable for humans and pets. Consider cooling off your home thoroughly before the storm arrives before you turn the unit off. This way, the home should remain reasonably cool for a while. Precooling is a great way to prepare for a spring or summer storm. Be sure to keep the doors and windows closed to keep the cold air inside unless there are tornado warnings and you’re instructed to open the windows.
Cover Your Condenser
There are weatherproof covers that you can use for your outdoor condenser unit or you can simply cover it with a tarp that’s designed for AC systems. This can reduce the risk of water damage or from blowing debris getting into the unit. During heavy winds, it’s not uncommon to see lots of flying debris blow through The Woodlands, TX, yards. You’ll want to make sure that the tarp is secure by fastening it to the ground before the storm arrives. Once the storm is over, you can remove the tarp and reuse it the next time an extreme weather system comes to town. Talk to your heating and AC repair provider for more information.
Remove Lawn Furniture
During a powerful storm, lawn chairs and other patio furnishings can become missiles when they’re airborne. To prevent deck or patio furniture from being blown into your condenser unit or into your home’s windows, for that matter, be sure to remove them and stow them safely in your garage. For larger pieces, you may want to secure them to the ground using stakes. Plant containers and kids’ toys can also pose risks to your AC unit and other property. Be sure to remove and store any items that could pose a risk because of strong winds.
If you have time, trim any trees that have dead or dying branches. During a powerful storm, these limbs can be knocked down by strong winds. They can fall atop your AC unit and do significant damage. They can also fall onto power lines, knocking out the power to your home. Additionally, if you have trees located on your property that are dangerously close to your house, consider tree removal if they are in poor health. Diseased trees are a property risk. During a storm, these trees can more easily topple over than healthy trees. Although this isn’t a job for a heating and AC repair tech, you can contact your local tree service for advice about how to handle a diseased tree.
After the Storm
After the storm subsides, inspect your HVAC system. If you cover your AC condenser with a tarp, you can remove it once the weather clears up. In fact, you should not leave the tarp to sit on the unit when the weather clears up. The tarp will likely trap moisture, and that can cause rust or mold. But talk to your heating and AC repair company for more information.
If there is debris around the unit, carefully remove any branches or limbs that may have fallen. Unless the unit sustained a direct hit from a falling tree limb or has suffered noticeable damage, you can turn your unit back on to test that it’s functioning properly, but only if the unit isn’t in a pool of water or is caked with debris.
If it’s inundated with water and debris, you should first contact Mr. Reliable Heating & Air to send out a heating and AC repair service technician. Let us carefully remove the debris and inspect your system. We’ll ensure that it’s safe to turn on and use. Debris and, certainly, water can cause the unit to overheat. When that occurs, damage to individual parts and components can occur too. Once your system incurs damage, you’ll definitely need heating and AC repair service–and probably some new parts.
Contact Your Home Insurance Carrier
If your condenser system has suffered extreme damage during the storm–has been struck by lightning or a tree has fallen on top of it, the damage may be covered by your carrier. Flooding situations can be tricky as many insurers don’t include flooding protection on typical home coverage policies. Even so, a falling tree that destroys your AC unit may be partially or completely covered by the insurance company. It’s worth checking into. After talking to the insurance rep, you may or may not be interested in filing a claim.
Rely on Mr. Reliable Heating & Air for All of Your Heating And AC Repair Needs
Hurricanes, tropical storms, thunderstorms, heat lighting, tornadoes–The Woodlands has seen some serious rough weather over the years. Of course, we love our corner of Texas, too. That’s why it’s important to prepare our homes and their essential systems like heating and air conditioning systems for inclement weather events. With a little preparation, you may be able to ward off the need for heating and AC repair service.
Mr. Reliable Heating & Air features a team of certified HVAC pros. We keep up to date with the latest best practices and innovations for our industry. We’re a leading heating and AC repair company serving The Woodlands and the greater Houston area.
Use these tips to prepare for the inevitable storms to arrive in The Woodlands, TX. Remember that Mr. Reliable Heating & Air is available if you need emergency heating and AC repair. Our techs have years of experience and are comfortable working with any make or model AC unit. It’s always best to let the experts inspect your unit if you suspect that it has suffered storm-related damage. Contact us to learn more about our HVAC solutions or to schedule a service call.
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