Protecting The Electrical Components of Your Commercial HVAC System During a Hurricane
Every year, hurricane seasons bring violent storms that damage and destroy millions of dollars of residential and commercial properties. The good news is current construction methods take into consideration the power of wind and waves. New buildings are built to withstand strong sustained winds with less destruction and damage from extreme weather.
Property owners and managers should plan ahead of time for the inevitable, planning to mitigate damage and transition into recovery mode as soon as storms pass.
This article offers simple suggestions and procedures to reduce possible damage from a hurricane to your commercial HVAC system. Remember, each commercial HVAC system is customized to the building, so make the necessary preparation steps to protect your specific HVAC System.
Be Aware of the Risks. You must understand the potential for damage before you can plan to avoid damage and delays.
Water Damage. Hurricanes pull a lot of moisture from the oceans and deposit it on land in the form of heavy rain. While outdoor commercial HVAC system components are designed to withstand rain, you may need to prepare for storm surges, river or creek flooding, or localized area flooding. It could be prudent to research new standards for elevating outdoor AC units and the cost for the new construction.
Wind Damage. Hurricanes can produce sustained winds between 75 mph to 157mph. Prepare for high winds by trimming trees on your property that could damage your AC unit(s) or fall on power lines. Make sure that outdoor compressor units are strapped down to hinder them from blowing away.
Electrical Damage. Hurricanes do not have the reputation for producing much lightning but prepare for electrical surges and lightning as a precaution.
The first goal of hurricane preparation is the protection of lives. By planning ahead, when the evacuation order comes, you will be prepared to follow it without worrying about a commercial business or an HVAC system during the storm.
Trim trees and vegetation. Prepare ahead of time by removing dead trees or broken limbs. Trim vegetation that might fall on property, including outdoor AC units. Collect leaves and limbs that might become airborne in high winds and damage the compressor units.
Purchase Covers Ahead of Time. Covering the outdoor units with a tarp or custom-made cover to protect them from wind damage. In some circumstances, you may need to board up the unit, so buy the material and cut to size beforehand.
Preventative Maintenance. Prior to the hurricane season, call your HVAC professional for a system Preventative Maintenance visit. Our technicians will inspect the equipment thoroughly and complete a hurricane prep checklist. This will include ensuring components are lashed down properly, wall openings are sealed against water damage and electronics are protected against power surges. By planning ahead, you have the best chance to recover quickly after the storm has passed.
Keep Current. National and local weather forecasters work hard to give people in the path of hurricanes adequate storm information. Each year thousands of lives are saved because hurricanes no longer sneak up on unsuspecting coastal inhabitants. Information includes storm surge estimates, landfall predictions, wind speed, and rainfall amounts. You will see your long-term prep in action. This information will also give you advance notice to follow some short-term action items.
Disconnect Power. During the final stages of the storm, preparation turns the switch from the HVAC system to the OFF setting. Trip the breakers, shutting off power to components. This will reduce the chance of damage from electrical surges that can damage or destroy circuits. It will also reduce damage to the building and other people in the case of water damage.
Time to Cover. Once the power has been disconnected, it is time to apply the tarp or board up the unit. This keeps mud, sticks, and flying debris from being lodged in the compressor unit. Complete this task before dangerous winds make it impossible.
Our four decades of experience as a Houston Electrician and contractor AirPro Houston provides you with the skill and expertise to prepare your commercial HVAC system for a hurricane.
We have financing options available with great options with up to 72-month terms with approved credit. Call us today at 281-880-8805 and let us partner with you for all of your electrical repair and installation needs.