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How Tornadoes Can Damage Your HVAC System

According to an article published on Alabama Public Radio’s website, Alabama has had a record-breaking tornado season so far and shows no indications of slowing down. In fact, there’s a good chance that we’ll see more as we’re right in the middle of peak tornado season. If you’ve lived in the Yellowhammer State for any length of time, you’ve probably spent time preparing for this kind of weather- picking your safe space, gathering your helmets, and buying a weather radio, etc., but have you given any thought on how to protect your HVAC system against the threat of severe storms?

Tornadoes can have a significant impact on HVAC Systems

Any time a storm produces high winds, heavy rain, and flying debris, there’s a good chance damage will follow. Here are a few ways tornadoes can affect HVAC systems:

Damage to outdoor units

The strong winds and flying debris from a tornado can cause significant damage to the outdoor units of an HVAC system. The condenser unit, which is located outside the building, is particularly vulnerable. If the unit is damaged, it may not be able to function properly, which can impact the cooling and heating of the building.

Flood damage

The heavy rain tornadoes often produce can lead to flooding. If you’re HVAC unit is located in an area prone to flooding, it may be at risk of water damage. Unfortunately, flooded HVAC systems often need significant repairs or replacement.

Power surges

Tornadoes can knock out power lines, leading to power surges that damage HVAC components. 

Indoor air quality issues

If an HVAC system is damaged during a tornado, it may not be able to filter and circulate air properly. This can lead to poor indoor air quality. This is especially true if debris, mold, or other contaminants entered the building during the storm.

Overall, tornadoes can have a significant impact on HVAC systems, and it’s essential to have the system inspected and repaired by a professional if it has been damaged during a storm.

How protect your HVAC system during tornado season

While you cannot eliminate the threat of damage during a storm, you can take steps to protect your system in the event of a tornado. Here are a few ways:

  • Make sure your outdoor unit(s) are securely anchored
  • Trim tree branches and take down any trees that could potentially fall on your HVAC system (and house) during a tornado.
  • Consider installing surge protectors on your HVAC system
  • Invest in a backup generator that keeps your HVAC system running even if the power goes out

Don’t forget to schedule regular HVAC maintenance

Routine HVAC maintenance ensures that your HVAC system is in good working order and less likely to be damaged during a storm. If you’re looking for a local HVAC company that provides HVAC maintenance in Leeds, Birmingham, Anniston, and throughout Central Alabama, please consider Polar Bear!