How to Prepare Your HVAC Units for Stormy Weather

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How to Prepare Your HVAC Units for Stormy Weather

Just because we’ve gotten through the worst of winter doesn’t mean that it’s time to breathe easy. Severe weather can strike at any time in Eastern Ontario, and the change to warmer temperatures brings with it plenty of challenges as winter turns to spring and summer. Keeping your HVAC system safe no matter what Mother Nature has in store doesn’t have to keep you up at night. JD Swallow can help ensure your HVAC system stays in top condition regardless of the weather. 

HVAC Prep Checklist

Your HVAC system didn’t come cheap. Because of that, don’t think of this as just protecting some machinery. You’re protecting your investment and your family.

Before the Storm

The most important prep comes before the first drop of rain falls or the first gust of wind blows.

If you know severe weather is coming, take time to prepare. If you have window units, cover them indoors and out; alternatively, you can just take them out of the window and stow them for the duration. For central air, cover your outdoor HVAC unit with a tarp; tie or stake the tarp at the bottom, and place a brick or other heavy object on top to prevent the tarp from coming loose.

If you’ve got outdoor furniture, umbrellas, or anything else that could be blown around by a strong wind, secure it or bring it indoors. Flying debris can damage your home and HVAC alike. And while it has nothing to do with your HVAC unit, we’d still suggest you lay in a stock of water, non-perishable food, and flashlights and batteries (not candles, which are a fire hazard) in case there’s a power outage.

During the Storm

Not all storms come with advance warning. Thunderstorm activity can kick up without warning, resulting in strong localized storm cells. Power outages aren’t the only problem at this time; when it returns, it often brings a power surge with it. Unplug window air conditioners, and anything that’s not plugged into a surge protector — and remember that not all power strips are surge protectors. If you’ve got central air, you should turn the breakers off to your thermostat and HVAC to prevent damage when power returns.

After the Storm

Once the calm returns, it’s time to do a quick inventory. First, go outside and check for damage from flying objects and hailstones. If your HVAC unit looks damaged, call us before restoring power to the unit and restarting it. If everything looks good, power up the unit but listen for any unusual noises that indicate potential problems. If you’ve taken window units out, this is the time to reinstall them.

If you’re unsure whether your air conditioner is safe, call JD Swallow for Ontario air conditioning repair. And if you’d like to ensure good heating and air performance year round, call us at  (613) 822-7974 for HVAC service. We serve the Eastern Ontario area, including the cities of Ottawa, Limoges, Rockcliffe Park, Lebreton Flats, and New Edinburgh with care and professionalism.

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