Why an HVAC Health Check Should Be Part of Storm Preparation
After a snowstorm led to nearly 800 traffic accidents in Atlanta on a single January day, it became clear that extreme weather can take the area by surprise. Preparations for major weather events shouldn’t be limited to stocking the house with food, water, batteries and flashlights. If your HVAC system isn’t in good condition, you may find yourself without heat or cool air when a seasonal storm hits your town. Here is a list of items to cover when you do an HVAC health check prior to a major storm during at any time of year.
HVAC Maintenance Basics
Most HVAC technicians recommend servicing heating and cooling equipment twice per year. Take advantage of the time before major storm seasons for your system’s regular tuneup. Technicians will check the condition of HVAC equipment’s coils as well as the fans and motors that make the systems run. Finally, have the filter changed to ensure optimal efficiency when the temperature changes and the heating and cooling systems have to work overtime.
Bracing for a Severe Thunderstorm
Severe thunderstorms present homeowners with challenges throughout the warmer seasons. When you hear of a big storm approaching, check outside your home to secure any objects that wind could lift and send crashing into HVAC equipment. If you fear that power may be cut when the worst of the storm passes, unplug the system and shut off the circuit breaker to protect it. Power surges can damage heating and cooling equipment when the power returns. When power lines are down, wait until utility companies say it is safe before you try activating your HVAC system.
Preparation for Gas Furnaces
Homeowners with propane-fueled furnaces should check the levels in the tanks during their HVAC health check in wintertime. If you want to use your home’s wood-burning fireplace during the storm, stock up on wood at the same time. Make sure the chimney is clear and the flue is operational.
Preparing pipes for extreme temperatures is an important part of winterizing your home for the season, and insulation is an energy-saving investment for Buckhead homeowners at any time of year. If you are concerned about air leaks, schedule a full energy audit with a heating and cooling professional. You’ll be able to maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system whenever extreme weather strikes.
Reset Your Home’s Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a great energy-saving tool. However, during the run-up to a major winter storm, you’re better off keeping the temperature consistent. The American Red Cross recommends choosing a temperature that will keep your family comfortable and maintaining that temperature throughout the day and night. It may use some extra energy, but it will help keep pipes from freezing.
Maintaining your home’s HVAC system is important at any time of year, but taking care of the system before a major storm is crucial for protecting your investment. Contact Casteel for an HVAC check before the next big storm.