Tips for Tampa Homeowners During Hurricane Season
If you live in Tampa, you’re no stranger to hurricanes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts between 13 and 20 hurricanes and severe storms each year, and at least one of those is likely to hit us. When the force of a hurricane bears down on your property, it can have the strength to cause serious damage to your home. Floods, wrecked foundations, and structural damage are fairly common.
Hurricane season also comes with a serious reduction in your comfort levels. Between the heavy rains and the potential for the power to go out, it’s tricky to keep your home as comfortable as possible throughout a storm. Your HVAC system is your best friend at this time of year, but only if your unit is kept safe from storms. Let’s find out how you can keep your property safe.
Protect Your Unit
Erratic power supply and lightning can cause serious damage to your appliances and HVAC equipment. A whole-house surge protector will keep all your technology safe from bounce surges and lightning strikes. Power strip surge protectors can only protect a few appliances at a time, so a whole-house approach is vital for Tampa residents. Even if you’re well-prepared, it’s best to turn your unit off just before a storm strikes.
Cover and Attach Your Outdoor Appliances
High winds, moisture, and water can all cause long-term damage to your outdoor appliances. A hurricane strap will secure your HVAC compressor against powerful gusts, but if your unit isn’t raised, it’s important to see to that, too. Your HVAC company can elevate your exterior appliances ahead of hurricane season. A simple tarp or plywood cover will help keep excess debris and moisture out, but once the storm has passed, don’t forget to remove it. Moisture can only dry if your unit is well-ventilated, and it’s crucial to encourage the process before mold can take root.
Check Your Unit After the Storm
Moisture creates fertile ground for mold and bacteria. That post-storm humidity can cause a problem that continues to fester well into the summer. Always check your unit for moisture after each storm. A professional inspection is also advisable, particularly after heavy rains. Be sure to assess storm damage before you get your unit back into full swing, though, or you risk worsening the damage. Some structural repairs require a permit, so choosing a licensed contractor will win you half the battle.
Be Careful Around Blown Fuses and Burned Capacitors
Storm season can have dangerous effects on your electronic equipment and wiring. Your sense of smell can warn you of damage. If you detect a chemical or burning scent, the odds are good that you’re facing an overvoltage problem. Preparation is better than a late response, so it’s best to make sure your trip switch is in good shape ahead of a hurricane. Your test button should be located at the top of your main panel. If pushing the test button doesn’t trip your mains, it’s time to call an electrician.
Choose a Quality Contractor
A licensed HVAC company will help you prepare your equipment for storms and fix damage after snappy weather. Only contractors with permits can work legally during a declared emergency, though. A licensed specialist is key. It’ll be much easier to protect your unit from hurricanes with the right contractor on your side. You can assess the merits of your chosen specialist in a few ways:
- Avoid contractors who solicit your business door-to-door.
- Check contractor licensing and insurance online or via the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
- Avoid companies that expect the full cost to be paid upfront.
Your HVAC equipment is your best defense against tough weather, but it’s not immune to Mother Nature. Routine maintenance can bolster your equipment against problems, and your favorite HVAC specialist will take care of the rest.
Call All American Home Services for advice at 813-486-4038.
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