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How to Be Prepared in Case of a Power Outage

January 14, 2016 | Blog

How to Be Prepared in Case of a Power OutageWhether they’re caused by stormy weather or disruptions in the power supply, you can more easily and safely manage a power outage by planning ahead. It’s especially important to protect your HVAC system because it’s vulnerable when the power is being restored or after an extended outage.

Basic Preparation

  • Sign up for text or email alerts from your power provider to receive notifications about outages.
  • Always have a supply of fresh batteries for flashlights and radios on hand. Candles will put out light and heat, but require supervision if you have pets or children.
  • Set aside canned food that’s easy to heat to avoid opening the refrigerator. Use an insulated cooler during prolonged outages for items you don’t want to waste from the refrigerator and freezer
  • Learn to open the garage door manually if you have an automatic opener,
  • Make it a habit to test the batteries for the carbon monoxide detectors monthly and the smoke detectors yearly.

Protect Your HVAC System

As the utility technicians work to restore the power, it’s not uncommon for power surges to go through the lines. Those surges can damage the electrical components inside your HVAC system that will render it inoperable until it’s repaired or replaced.

You can prevent surge damage by:

  • Installing a whole-house surge protector or a separate unit for the HVAC system. If you opt for a whole-house device, it will protect all your wiring, appliances and electronics, as well.
  • Turning off the circuit breaker right after the outage occurs. If you’re away, show family members who are likely to be home how to turn it off. Once the power returns and is stable, reset the breaker.

If your home has a heat pump and a lengthy outage occurs, switch the thermostat to “emergency heat” to warm the refrigerant before it starts its normal cycle. Excessively cold refrigerant can harm your system. Your HVAC contractor can tell you how long to run it in this mode.

For more information about HVAC protection during a power outage, contact CCAC, Inc., providing trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners since 1979.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about preparing for a power outage and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Vectors. 1/Shutterstock”

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