Summer is finally here, but with that comes summer storms. Protecting your HVAC during extreme weather like a summer storm or a hurricane can be as simple as taking precautions. Knowing how and when to protect your HVAC systems in bad weather is integral to keeping your heating and cooling systems in efficient working order for many years to come.

How to protect your HVAC in extreme weather

Routine Maintenance:

The best thing you can do is have a professional inspect your heating and cooling equipment at least twice per year. If you experience severe weather, like hurricanes, gale force winds, or sandstorms, having an inspection more often may be required. While you won’t be using it every day, investing in a good quality cover for your outdoor units may be a good idea. It is certainly easier and faster to use a cover in the event of extreme weather.


If you live in a climate where hurricanes happen it is advised to turn off the system itself and the power that runs to it when possible. Cover the outdoor unit well. Investing in a whole home surge protector is a good idea. After the storm wait to turn on the unit until it has been inspected as well, to ensure that it is not sitting in water, lines are intact, and your unit is debris free. If you are at all unsure, call a Napoleon Dealer.

Electrical Storms:

While this is more of an issue for rooftop units, lightning can still hit ground units. Having an HVAC surge protector for your home is a good idea, especially in regions where lightning is prevalent.

High Winds:

While not inherently bad, it’s what the wind brings with it that does the damage. Dust and debris can build up inside your outdoor units, which is especially bad for the air intake. A cover would be ideal for this situation. Remember to secure it well, as well as your barbecue, furniture, toys, and any other potential projectiles. If it can be helped, do not run your HVAC units during a windstorm of any sort – this includes hurricanes and sandstorms. After the storm, remove any debris and dirt.


Protect your outdoor units by installing them on raised concrete platforms – patio stones are a great choice. Ensure that the ground near the outdoor unit is sloped away and downspouts that are located near the unit are directed away from your outdoor HVAC components.

Winter Weather:

Yearly maintenance of pipes that run into and out of the units need to be inspected to ensure they are well insulated and intact. Ensure that these pipes are kept free of snow and ice by keeping a 3-foot area around units clear of snow and ice. For air conditioners, there are concerns of insect or rodent infestations as well as moisture buildup in more moderate climates, while in less moderate climates (like Canada) the amount of snow and ice, as well as sustained below freezing temperatures it is alright to cover your unit for the duration of the season. Always cover outdoor units in the event of hailstorms and blizzards.

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