Even though Hurricane Ida struck two months ago, we’re still helping several of our commercial clients repair their HVAC systems and recover from the aftermath. The damage caused to commercial HVAC systems has been extensive, and we’re sharing what we’ve seen and what we’ve learned to help you prepare your business for future storms.

While it may not be possible to fully “hurricane-proof” your commercial HVAC system, preventative maintenance can go a long way in minimizing the damage and allowing you to recover more quickly. Here are some of our top tips for protecting your business and your commercial HVAC systems.

Trim tree branches and vegetation near your HVAC equipment

Tree branches can cause extensive damage during hurricanes and storms. Strong winds can blow tree branches into cars, windows, and HVAC systems resulting in costly damage. Tree branches and leaves can also get stuck in your HVAC system, causing it to malfunction. If there are any trees, shrubs, bushes or other vegetation near your commercial HVAC equipment, we recommend you keep it neat and tidy to minimize the damage it might cause during a hurricane. 

We don’t always have a lot of notice when we’re in the path of an oncoming hurricane. Protecting your outdoor HVAC system is something you should think about year-round, not just when a storm is about to hit. Regular preventative maintenance is a small investment to keep your business as safe as possible.

Shut down power to your HVAC system if possible

As mentioned above, we don’t always have lots of time to prepare when a hurricane is on the way. But one thing most of us have time to do is shut off your HVAC’s power system. Turning off your power prevents your HVAC system from being damaged if it comes into contact with water, which is very likely during a hurricane or heavy rain. 

If floodwaters come into contact with the electrical panels in your HVAC system, and the power is still on, you’ll incur expensive repair costs and parts of your system might need to be replaced entirely.

Protect your HVAC equipment with a cover

Large tarps are relatively cheap and work great to protect your commercial HVAC system during a hurricane. Many of us have seen footage from hurricanes before – there are flying tree branches and other debris, as well as heavy rain and floodwater. Keep your HVAC system as safe as possible by shielding it from the elements with a tarp or other similar covering. You can use strong ropes to secure the tarp and keep it in place for the duration of the hurricane.

Anticipate flooding in low lying areas

If you live in a low lying area, you’ve probably experienced flooding with previous hurricanes. Many of our clients had their commercial HVAC systems damaged during Hurricane Ida due to standing water and heavy rains, and the electrical components will need to be replaced entirely. 

In addition to covering your HVAC system with a tarp, as mentioned above, we also recommend unplugging any window units and putting them inside to protect them from water damage. If your unit sits on ground level and can be relocated, we recommend powering it down and moving it to higher ground, reducing the chance for it to come into contact with standing water. 

Taking these preventative steps to keep your HVAC system safe during a hurricane or during a storm can save you a lot of money in repair and replacement costs. While it may not be possible to fully safeguard your HVAC system during severe weather, you can protect it by taking the steps discussed here. 

For more information about how we can help you with commercial HVAC preventative maintenance, or if you have any questions, please contact our team at Tri-Tech Energy today or visit our website at: https://www.tritechenergy.com/