While San Diego isn't known for having riotous spring weather as they do in the Midwest, we can still have some strong spring storms. Heavy downpours, lightning and high winds such as we experience here can damage property. That includes your HVAC system -- likely the most expensive equipment found in your home. Here are some suggestions about storm preparation that can help you protect your system.
Lightning strikes that damage homes are a fact of life. In 2015, lightning caused $790 million in homeowners' insurance losses nationwide, including damages to HVAC systems. A damaging voltage surge can occur in a home for many reasons, but among them is a lightning strike. The best protection for your system is to turn it off whenever storms approach.
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding when it rains, you probably have flood insurance, which should include coverage for your HVAC system. If you are concerned about flooding damaging your air conditioner's outdoor condenser, you can protect it by raising the concrete base on which it sits, which will involve hiring a certified contractor. This can be an expensive move, so you may want to do it when you replace the unit.
Flooding inside your home -- in a basement, say, or even a ground floor where the HVAC system may be located -- can be a concern for some. You could move the HVAC to a second floor or the attic, but this will likely require moving ductwork around -- again, an expensive proposition. You might also consider building some type of interior wall around the unit so that flood waters can't get in it.
High winds will probably not impact the sturdy outdoor condenser unless they blow debris or limbs on it. Trim back overhanging limbs every year. Before a wind storm hits, remove any articles in the yard that might become airborne and damage your condenser.
To learn more about storm preparation and your HVAC system, contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning. We serve North San Diego, including Carlsbad, Rancho Bernardo, Poway, La Costa and Encinitas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).