The Power Is Out – What Should I Do for My HVAC System?
Power outages can happen
During this time of year, storms often become more prevalent. Power outages are often an unfortunate result of stormy weather. Short outages usually require little action from homeowners, but if you find yourself in an extended power outage, what can you do to keep your family safe and comfortable – and protect your HVAC system?
Keep your HVAC system safe during a storm or extended power outage.
A storm not only can cause an extended power outage, it can cause a lot of issues for cooling and heating systems if left unchecked as well. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to ensure your HVAC system stays as safe as possible.
- Consider turning off breakers to your HVAC equipment.
- You will want to make sure your outdoor unit is secured and covered if possible. Also, clear up any twigs, leaves, or debris that could bombard your unit if the wind picks up.
- If you’re concerned about flooding, it’s best to ensure both indoor and outdoor equipment is elevated off the basement floor or the ground.
- If you suspect the storm has damaged your equipment in any way, don’t turn it on until you have one of the experts from Trademasters check it out, as there could be a risk of fire, electrical shock, or carbon monoxide emission.
What else can I do to keep my system – and my family – safer in the event of a storm?
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to a power outage. Making sure you and your home are prepared for an extended outage is the best way to make one go smoothly should it occur. We’re sharing six things the DHS suggests to ensure you and your family are ready for a power outage that lasts more than a couple of hours.
6 Ways to Prepare for an Extended Power Outage
- What items do you rely on that require electricity? Take an inventory of them, and consider battery backups for electronics and cellular devices. If there are any medical devices that someone in your household needs, talk to your healthcare provider to learn if there are alternatives or other recommendations they may have.
- Keep an eye on the weather. If your local weather station indicates that severe storms could be on the horizon, take steps to ensure that you’ll have what you need should a power outage occur. Move water, non-perishable food items that don’t require cooking or refrigeration, and medications that don’t require refrigeration to a centralized location. That way, you and your family will have easy access to them.
- Consider installing carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms that have a battery backup, so you can ensure they’ll keep working even in the event of a power outage.
- Make sure you have a battery-operated lantern, radio, and flashlights on hand so you can keep your hom.
- If a storm is likely, charge cell phones and other electronics, and make sure the gas tanks both in your home, your outdoor cooking equipment, and vehicles are full.
- Set the temperature in your refrigerator/freezer a bit lower in anticipation of an outage. During the outage, only open when necessary, and know what you need so you can get in and out of the fridge quickly. Keep an eye on food temperatures and spoilage, throwing away any food that has either spoiled or has gone above 40ºF.
Additionally, you may wish to consider installing a generator.
Having a home generator that has been professionally installed and maintained can make all the difference during an extended power outage, especially for those who rely on medical devices that require electricity. Of course, any homeowner can benefit from a generator, as they can help prevent damage to electronics, HVAC equipment, refrigerators, and other large equipment items during an outage.
At Trademasters, we’re ready to help you..
At Trademasters, we can help you by inspecting your HVAC system after a storm or extended power outage to make sure it will operate safely for you and your family. Give us a call at (703) 644-6400 or contact us online, and we will be glad to set up an appointment with you.