Posted: September 9, 2010

As summer ends and the weather cools, those living in coastal areas may look forward to the beginning of the school year, and perhaps reclaiming their city from the influx of tourists that crowded the beaches and malls. Yet, once these visitors are back in their minivans and campers, locals have truly unwelcome guests to face: hurricanes and tropical storms. The damage rough weather can inflict on your home and HVAC system can cause headaches in the aftermath, so it’s important to make sure everything is protected.

Seasoned coastal residents already know the drill when a hurricane warning is in effect: bring in the plants and patio chairs, and turn over outdoor tables if you’re unable to fit them in the garage. You know, too, to tape and/or board up your windows where possible, but you’ve probably wondered how to handle your heating and air conditioning in bad weather. You can’t move your outside system, but if you have a cover it’s best to make sure it’s tightly secured to protect your equipment from harsh rains.

Also, it’s best to simply shut everything down if you anticipate a power outage. This way, you reduce the risk of blowing out circuits and burning out the compressor when the electricity returns.

Once the storm is passed, check your outside equipment for any damage like dents or dings from fallen debris. If you feel there is something obstructing your system and preventing it from working properly, get a call into your HVAC repairman before you work your AC.

As you prepare your emergency hurricane kits, take care to watch your heating and cooling systems. If you’re close to the storm, don’t take chances and run any equipment that might burn out – you want your HVAC running long after the rains have stopped.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Newport News HVAC repair and Williamsburg HVAC repair.