After a severe thunderstorm, tornado or hurricane – natural events that frequent Florida’s Gulf coast – homeowners need to take several precautions before attempting to salvage or restart heating and cooling equipment.
“It’s important to remember not to immediately restart heating and cooling equipment after a severe storm because it can be dangerous and could cause further damage,” said Mike Brown, President of Harris Air Conditioning, Inc. “The equipment may be severely damaged, its wiring may be damaged or it may have debris lodged in it. These are some of the many reasons why it’s best to have a qualified service technician inspect your heating and cooling equipment after a severe storm.”
Homeowners should not be too eager to get things back to normal after a storm, because improper maintenance and preparation can cause problems years later.
To ensure your safety and prevent further damage to air conditioning equipment, take the following steps after a storm:
- If the storm caused flooding, don’t start your system until you are certain there is no water inside any components. If you’re not sure, don’t start it.
- Have a reputable electrician or a technician from the power company or city inspect your home’s internal and external wiring to make sure they’re dry and safe before you turn on any electrical equipment.
- If the power company gives you approval to turn on the electricity in your home, but you think you may have a problem with your heating or air conditioning equipment, have an air conditioning repair company disconnect your system from the electrical source. Get the equipment serviced properly first.
- If there was flooding, open equipment and, if possible, get some air circulation going to speed the drying process.
- Use only reputable air conditioning service companies. “Unscrupulous companies can descend on disaster areas,” Brown said. “Be careful. If necessary, go without service a little longer to make sure you get what you pay for.”