Creating a HVAC Emergency Plan for Hurricane Season in Alvin, TX Skip to main content

Hurricane season 2024 is active now, and NOAA National Weather Service forecasters expect above-normal activity. Whether you’re a new Alvin, TX, resident or you’ve lived here all your life, you have an evacuation plan for yourself and your family. What about an HVAC emergency plan?

The Scout movement has a motto and you don’t need a badge to use it: Be prepared. In this guide, we’re sharing expert tips on HVAC hurricane preparedness. 

By the end of the article, you’ll know how to create a plan to ensure the safety of your HVAC system. 

Assess HVAC System Vulnerabilities

Before hurricane season kicks into high gear, take the time to assess your HVAC system’s vulnerabilities. Inspect your unit for potential weak points, such as exposed outdoor components. High winds and flying debris can damage the outdoor unit.

Consider the age and condition of your HVAC system.

Older units may be more susceptible to damage during severe weather. Schedule an HVAC tune-up before the storms arrive. Considered part of routine maintenance, tune-ups often detect potential issues in time to make repairs before a complete system breakdown.  

Don’t forget to evaluate the elevation of your HVAC equipment. Leaving equipment at ground level increases puts it at serious risk for flooding during heavy rains or storm surges.

Create an HVAC Emergency Plan

Creating an emergency action plan for families and pets is one of the most crucial steps in hurricane preparedness. Also critical is putting together an HVAC emergency plan. Your hurricane HVAC checklist should include clear procedures for the following:

Turn Off HVAC System Power 

Before the storm hits, completely shut off power to your HVAC system. This prevents electrical damage and potential hazards.

Cover Outdoor Units 

Protect outdoor units from flying debris and heavy rain by covering them with durable tarps or plywood. Secure the coverings with bungee cords, ropes, or straps.

Elevate Ground-Level HVAC Equipment

If your HVAC equipment does not sit on a raised platform or base, consider having it elevated by an HVAC professional. Even a small increase in height can reduce the risk of water damage. If you decide to build a platform on your own, make sure it’s sturdy and designed to withstand the weight and vibrations of the unit.

Identify Backup Power Sources

In case of extended power outages, have backup power options ready. This could include portable generators or battery-powered HVAC controls. Make sure you know how to safely connect and operate backup power. 

Stock up on HVAC-Related Supplies

Being well-prepared for hurricane season means having the right supplies on hand. These items can help shield your HVAC system from damage during a storm. Here’s a list of what you’ll need: 

  • Tarps
  • Plywood
  • Bungee cords
  • Ropes
  • Straps
  • Duct Tape
  • Sandbags
  • Plastic sheeting

Wondering what sandbags and duct tape have to do with an HVAC emergency plan? We’ll talk about that next.

Sandbags and Ductape: Indispensable for HVAC Hurricane Preparedness

While it’s common to place sandbags around your home to protect it from flooding, sandbags are dual purpose. Place them around ground-level HVAC units to prevent flooding. You can also use sandbags to weigh down coverings. 

Wrap your HVAC unit in heavy-duty plastic sheeting and seal seams with industrial-strength duct tape. You can also use duct tape to seal seams in tarps. 

Store these indispensable items in an easily accessible place so you can quickly deploy them when a storm approaches.

Communicate Your HVAC Emergency Plan

Once you’ve developed your HVAC emergency plan, it’s essential to communicate it with your family members. Educate your household on the importance of HVAC preparedness, emphasizing the need for prompt action when a hurricane is approaching. 

Hold a meeting to discuss the plan in detail and go over your hurricane HVAC checklist. Make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. Keep a written plan and your checklist in a visible and accessible location. 

Regularly review and practice the plan with everyone involved, so they are familiar with the steps and can act quickly and confidently when needed.

Monitor Weather Forecasts and Evacuation Orders

Stay informed about hurricane forecasts and potential impacts in Alvin by signing up for local emergency alerts and weather updates. Follow the National Hurricane Center and local news outlets for the latest information. 

Be prepared to act quickly if an evacuation order is issued. Secure your HVAC system according to your emergency plan and evacuate to a safe location outside the hurricane’s path.

Post-Storm HVAC System Inspection and Repair

Once the storm passes, inspect your HVAC system as soon as it’s safe.

Check for any visible damage to outdoor units or indoor components, such as dents, dislodged parts, or broken connections. Look for signs of water intrusion, like rust, water stains, or dampness around the unit, and remove any debris that may have accumulated around or on the HVAC system.

Contact a licensed HVAC contractor to assess the system and perform the necessary repairs. Avoid attempting DIY HVAC repairs as this can be dangerous and may cause further damage. Schedule an inspection as soon as possible, as demand for HVAC services can be high after a hurricane.

Document any HVAC-related damage for insurance claims by taking clear photographs. Keep detailed records of the repairs needed. Make a list of all damaged components and any replacement parts required. 

Now is an excellent time to schedule preventative HVAC maintenance. It should be part of your HVAC safety measures anyway, but it’s especially vital to have maintenance done before the storm.

Are You Prepared for an HVAC Emergency?

Creating an HVAC emergency plan is vital for Alvin, TX storm preparation. By assessing vulnerabilities, preparing your HVAC system, and stocking up on supplies, you can protect your HVAC equipment during hurricane season.

Trust Custom Air Systems, locally owned and operated since 1985, for help during hurricane season. With 24/7 availability for HVAC emergencies, we’re here for our customers. Not only do we offer HVAC maintenance, but should your system suffer damage during a storm, we’ll get there promptly to make repairs.

Schedule a service appointment today to ensure your system is ready for any storm.

(281) 466-4297