With the main working part of your HVAC system located outside, you may worry about how it will withstand severe weather. The good news is that HVAC systems are designed to handle Mother Nature. However, that does not mean they are completely immune to the effects of severe weather. Let us look at how certain weather events can affect your HVAC system.
Lightning storms are probably the most concerning for your HVAC system. If you know a lightning storm is coming ahead of time, it is wise to turn off your HVAC system. Lightning can deliver as much as 5 billion joules of energy. This is enough energy to fry any type of electrical device. While the chances of your home being struck by lightning are low in most cases, the chance increases significantly during storms with an enormous amount of lightning activity. The point where your utility line connects to your house is a common area to be struck by lightning.
Lightning storms can also cause brownouts and power surges. If your home is not equipped with a surge protector, lightning events can cause damage to your HVAC system and other appliances if they are plugged into an outlet. Making the investment in a whole-home surge protector is a proactive step you can take to prevent damage due to power surges.
Blizzards and ice storms can also wreak havoc on your HVAC system. While blizzards are rare in Kennesaw, GA, ice storms do happen. In addition to causing brownouts, ice can build up on the outside of your HVAC system, causing restricted airflow. This restricted airflow causes your unit to be strained, which can lead to several problems, including overheating and broken components. To keep ice from building up on your system, you can place a special cover over your outdoor unit before the storm arrives. Just remember to remove it after the storm has passed.
Most severe weather comes with storms and high winds. But you can have high winds on a bright and sunny day, too. Wind can blow dirt and debris into your outdoor unit, where it settles on the internal components of your system. A unit that is dirty with dirt and dust buildup on the working components and condensate line must work harder to do its job. This places unnecessary strain on your system and can increase your utility bills. If your condensate line becomes completely blocked due to blowing debris, it can cause the unit to overheat. High winds can also blow objects into your unit, resulting in physical damage.
After a windstorm, you should check your outdoor unit and ensure it is still in one piece and that nothing has been blown against it, leading to blocked airflow. It is also a good idea to vacuum any dust and dirt away from the working components. If the windstorm is particularly extreme, it may be a good idea to schedule a service call and have one of our technicians perform a professional inspection.
Severe weather can also be in the form of heat advisories. Just like how you get tired more quickly when it is hot outside, so does your air conditioner. The Georgia climate usually has high humidity. High heat combined with high humidity causes your system to work extra hard. This extra strain can lead to all kinds of problems over time, especially if you do not have your system regularly maintained.
You can help your unit out by adjusting the temperature on your thermostat a few degrees higher. For example, instead of setting your thermostat to a cool 68 degrees, try setting it to 72 degrees. If that is comfortable enough for you, go a bit higher and set it at 74 degrees, especially if you are out for the day. This will not only help your system work less, but it will also use less energy, which translates to more money in your pocket.
Your HVAC Experts
At Controlled Climate Services, we are here for all of your HVAC needs, including heating and cooling maintenance, repair, and installation. In the case severe weather damages your system in the off-hours, you can rest easy knowing that we offer 24/7 emergency services. We have been in business for more than 25 years and can service any make or model. You can also count on us for refrigeration, ventilation, and commercial services. Call today and see how we can help you!