Tips To Prepare HVAC Units During Stormy Weather

December 2, 2022

6 Tips To Prepare Your SW Oklahoma HVAC
Unit For Stormy Weather

Being Prepared Can Help Avoid A Headache Later

When it comes to SW Oklahoma weather, homeowners experience the full spectrum of events. Heavy rains, wind, tornadoes, hail, and much more bombard homes. When inclement weather hits, not only is your SW Oklahoma taking a beating, but so is your HVAC unit. 

As a result, it’s essential to be proactive and take the necessary steps to prepare your HVAC unit for whatever Mother Nature has in store. Debris, moisture, and other elements can wreak havoc on your unit, which is why you must take the time to protect it.

Luckily, there are some easy ways to prepare your HVAC unit for stormy weather to protect it and avoid issues. Check out these six tips to learn how to protect your HVAC unit in SW Oklahoma.

1. Turn The Unit Off During The Storm

It is a good rule to remember that when you are in the midst of a SW Oklahoma storm, it is best to turn your HVAC unit off completely. If lightning does strike, the sudden surge won’t fry your HVAC unit.

When your HVAC unit is pulling power, there is a risk of an electrical surge damaging or destroying the system. Flip the breaker if you can’t physically get to the unit to turn it off. This will ensure no power runs through the unit while the storm rages outside.

It may seem silly to turn your HVAC unit off during the hot summer months and to get hot waiting for the storm to pass. However, when you have advance notice of a storm, lower your temperature to get your home extra cool before turning the HVAC unit off so you are as comfortable as possible.

2. Always Use A Surge Protector

Whether you remember to turn your system off or you keep it running, it is vital to have a surge protector in place. Surge protectors are meant to protect those items plugged into it in case of a lightning strike or power surge.

Believe it or not, surge protectors can go a long way in protecting your entire home from electrical fires. Therefore, you may find that putting these throughout your home for major appliances is straightforward and gives you peace of mind.

3. Cover Your Outside Unit

The idea of covering your outside unit is only going to work if you are turning your HVAC unit off during the storm. Remember, to work correctly, your HVAC unit needs room and air – so do not do this if you plan on running your HVAC unit.

There are several ways to cover your outside unit:

  • Use a tarp with lawn staples to pull it tight, protecting the HVAC unit
  • Take boards of plywood and build a box around the HVAC unit to give sturdy protection
  • Use foam insulation boards; they can stack on the top and sides of the unit
  • Use a cover with ventilation that will allow you to run the HVAC unit while decreasing the moisture penetrating the outdoor unit

The option you use will depend upon what you want to do. However, remember that a tarp and foam insulation boards in severe winds may protect against hail damage, but they can easily get blown away.

4. Protect The Area From Flooding

If your HVAC unit is located in a lower area that can flood with a lot of rain, then you need to protect your HVAC unit from flooding. For an already established HVAC system, it can be difficult. However, many people stack bags of sand around the unit to help protect the HVAC system from rain and flooding.

In reality, if your HVAC unit is installed in a low-lying area prone to flooding, it should have been installed on a platform to help protect it more during stormy weather. Of course, you can have an HVAC unit raised by professionals if you did not do it upon original installation.

5. Consider Owning A Portable Generator

Many people consider a portable generator a must-have for protecting their home during stormy weather. If your neighborhood loses power, a generator can help you run your appliances and basic amenities for a few days.

Many SW Oklahoma homeowners want to ensure their home stays cool or warm. A portable generator can keep your HVAC system online – even without electricity from the grid.

There are portable generators that can run both an HVAC system and lights. The key is choosing the correct generator size to handle the load you need safely. The rule is to select a generator wattage at least 10% higher than your HVAC unit requires. This buffer gives you some headroom and won’t be as taxing on your generator.

6. Regular Scheduled Maintenance

The importance of regularly scheduled maintenance is even greater when you are in the stormy season in the SW Oklahoma area. Through regular maintenance, you are avoiding significant issues and preparing your HVAC unit to handle rough storms that may come your way.

Maintenance done routinely may include:

  • Ensuring internal components are at peak performance
  • Checking external components for strength
  • Repairing or replacing any parts that may be negatively affecting the HVAC unit

Through maintenance, your HVAC system will perform at the level it should, decreasing the chances of storm damage. 

After a storm passes through your area, it is recommended that you visually inspect your HVAC unit. Be sure to remove any debris that interferes with ventilation. You may also want to call an HVAC professional to check out the unit to ensure no internal damage or other issues are present that may affect the operation of your HVAC unit.

Free Quotes For Your SW Oklahoma HVAC Unit

For homeowners in SW Oklahoma, preparing your HVAC unit for stormy weather is a must. Getting your HVAC unit inspected annually is one of the best ways to prepare your HVAC unit for stormy weather.

Get started with the local professionals – contact us or call us today at 580-699-5760 for your free HVAC quote.