Kansas City has experienced a significant amount of rain and several severe storms recently. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of storm damage, many homeowners have suffered problems with their cooling systems following these storms. While air conditioning units are designed to be outside and withstand the elements, they can still be susceptible to storm damage from heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and lighting surges.
In addition to damage from flying debris or falling objects, electrical problems are also common after storms, as many Kansas City homeowners have recently discovered. Newer HVAC equipment often uses more advanced electronic technology than other home appliances and are therefore more susceptible to damage from electrical surges. Spikes in current resulting from storms can damage components in just a fraction of a second.
Lightning strikes are a common cause of electrical problems with air conditioning units. Lightning can cause a power surge that trips the breaker. In addition, if your power has been out, when it returns there can be an electrical surge that can also trip the breaker. If this happens, check the electrical box to see if the breaker has been tripped. If your air conditioning unit doesn’t come back on after resetting the breaker, your unit may have sustained damage. Call Overland Park Heating and Cooling and one of our technicians will diagnose the problem.
Excessive water from heavy rain or flooding can also cause severe damage by swamping the outdoor components. In particular, flooding over 12 inches can damage moving parts and electrical components. Contact an HVAC professional before restarting a unit that has been exposed to flooding to prevent further damage to your unit.
There are some steps you can take before storms hit to protect your cooling system:
- Make sure your air conditioner is setting firmly on a level pad
- Trim back trees and plants around your unit that could drop leaves or debris and clog your unit.
- Install whole-house surge suppression equipment.
- Remove any patio furniture, grills, or other loose objects that could be blown into your air conditioner.
After a storm:
- Make sure the outdoor HVAC components are not under water or internally swamped. Leave the power off and call an HVAC professional if any water swamping is found.
- Inspect the unit to ensure that no debris was blown into the coil or fan, which could impede proper operation.
- Change the air filter in the HVAC system after a severe storm.
If your cooling system suffers damage during a storm, be sure to call Overland Park Heating and Cooling. Our expert technicians will get your system back up and running.