We enjoy mostly fabulous weather here in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz, but our location also makes us vulnerable to certain types of natural disasters. Coastal flooding from tsunamis as well as earthquakes come to mind.
No doubt you've given considerable thought to how you'd protect your life and property in a natural disaster, but have you also ever thought of HVAC protection? Here are three tips should disaster strike:
1. EARTHQUAKE PROTECTION
Should an earthquake hit, you'll want to ensure your HVAC system is up and running ASAP afterwards, particularly if it happens in the summer when it's warm. Protect your outdoor condenser by either building or buying a protective cage or guard.
2. FLOOD PROTECTION
If your home is in a flood zone where it might be affected by a tsunami or rising water from a stream, consider moving the condenser to higher ground. It can survive in a few inches of water for a limited time, but lengthy inundations over longer periods, as well as inundation from sea water may damage the condenser beyond repair. Be sure to turn the air conditioner off before flooding occurs, and do not turn it back on until your HVAC technician checks it out.
Tip: If you know a storm or possible flooding is on the way, turn your A/C down a few degrees before it hits so you can keep your home cooler for a longer period.
Your HVAC system should be protected under most homeowner's policies in the event of storm damage from flying debris. However, most homeowners' policies do not cover damage from earthquakes or flooding, unless the flooding is a result of burst indoor pipes. Look into acquiring a separate policy for earthquakes or flooding damage.
Besides storing up plenty of food and water, you might also consider acquiring a portable or standby generator. A generator can make make a big difference if the power is off for several days.
For more on HVAC protection or information on most HVAC topics, visit the Valley Heating website or give us a call at (408) 868-5500.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).