A strong storm, with its floodwater, strong winds, and flying debris, can wreak havoc on your heating and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Unfortunately, losing your house's air conditioning or heating systems during a storm can leave you in an uncomfortable house at a time when you can't go out. This is why you should ensure that the HVAC system is in tiptop condition before the storm season commences. Here are the preparatory measures you should invest in:
Keep the Condenser Unit Free of Debris
The extracts heat from the refrigerant so that it can re-circulate and pick up more heat from the house, keeping your house cool and comfortable. The heat is transferred from the refrigerant to the condenser coils, and anything that blocks the coils interferes with the heat exchange. Therefore, allowing debris to build-up over the condenser unit and block the coils will reduce your AC's efficiency. It is also for the same reason that you shouldn't cover up the outdoor unit (some people do this to protect it from the storm); the cover will also interfere with efficient air circulation.
Visually Check the Heat Pump
For a winter storm, you should also give the heat pump a visual check every now and then. This is necessary because many heat pumps are equipped with electric heating coils as a backup for when the heat pump is malfunctioning and can't produce adequate heat. Therefore, it is possible for your heat pump to fail without you noticing because your house will still be heated (by the coils). It is just that electric heating is expensive and will drive up your utility bills considerably. Therefore, check the heat pump's condition regularly and call a technician if it's down.
Make Sure You Have Enough Fuel
If you are using fuel to heat the house, then you need to stock it up before the storm season kicks in proper. For example, if your heater uses propane, make sure the amount you have will last the whole storm season. This is necessary because fuel deliveries may delay during the storm season, for example, if the storm causes damages to road networks.
Ensure the Exhaust Vents Are Snow-Free
Lastly, you also need to ensure that the ventilation systems aren't covered or blocked with debris. Blocked ventilation openings will interfere with the quality of your indoor air as well as the energy efficiency of your heating system.