Arizona Monsoons: 10 Things Homeowners Should Do Before AND After the Storms

2014 Jul 10
Posted in: Air Conditioning

Is your Arizona home ready for monsoon season? The wet, windy weather can wreak havoc on your humble abode, so there are plenty of chores you need to do ahead of time to prevent costly damage.

But, what about after a storm passes? Do you know what to do then?

If not, no worries! We’ll show you exactly what you should do before AND after the storms to keep your home in working order.

BEFORE the storms

1) Get to know the right contractors before you need them

You wouldn’t wait until you are sick to find a doctor. So don’t wait until the monsoon wrecks your home to find good contractors. Find a licensed roofer and a licensed HVAC contractor to keep on your speed dial.

2) Trim your trees

This is a no brainer, right? Monsoons bring torrential rains and harsh winds that can cause tree limbs to break off onto your roof and cause major damage.

3) Install a whole-house surge protector

Most homeowners think power strips will protect their TVs and A/C units from large electrical surges like nearby lightning strikes or downed power lines. But power strips can only protect electrical appliances from minor internal fluctuations (like when a large appliance turns on or off).

What you need is a whole-house surge protector that will cost effectively protect all of your electrical equipment (including your heating and cooling system!)  from major electrical surges caused by the storms.

4) Have a licensed HVAC contractor seal your ductwork

When a dust storm roars by, dust enters your home’s attic through the attic vents. If your ductwork has leaks, all that dust will get sucked in and be blown throughout your home. No fun for those with allergies.

Get a licensed HVAC professional to seal your ducts before the storms hit.

5) Ready your roof for rough weather

Intense winds will easily blow off any loose tiles or shingles on your roof, leaving your home vulnerable to rain and water damage.

Get a licensed roofer to inspect your roof for issues. Many will give you a free estimate.

AFTER the storms

1) Do a post-storm roof inspection

Check your roof for damage after a storm to prevent any water damage from future storms.

Look for:

  • Penetrations
  • Cracks
  • Holes
  • Missing tiles or shingles

2) Rinse off your air conditioning system’s outside unit

Dust storms are going to engulf your outside air conditioning unit, covering it in dust and dirt.

Once that happens, your air conditioner will struggle to release heat from the refrigerant flowing through the condenser coil (refrigerant tubing). Since the refrigerant can’t disperse heat, it can’t absorb more heat from your air, meaning your A/C will start blowing warmer air. You or a professional can clean your condenser with a gentle rinse from your garden hose.

3) Change your air conditioner’s air filter

Normally, you’d change your air filter every 1-3 months (depending on the season). But during monsoon season, we’d advise you change it every 2 weeks because the storms will kick up more dust than usual.

The air filter’s job is to trap dust and dirt to protect your air conditioning system. But once it gets too clogged with dust, air can’t pass through easily. So your air conditioner works harder and longer to cool your home, running up your energy bills. It can even cause a premature breakdown

4) Clear your condensate drain line

Your air conditioner removes moisture from the air and lets it exit through a condensation line. But those dust storms can easily clog the drain line, causing condensation to back up into your home and cause major water damage.

Learn how to clear your condensate drain line or call a professional for air conditioner maintenance.

5) Get an HVAC contractor to clean your inside air conditioning unit

Even if you frequently change the air filter, dust is likely to make it into your air conditioner’s inside unit where the evaporator coil is. The evaporator coil is the part of the A/C that cools your indoor air.  If it’s covered in dust, your A/C will start blowing warmer air.

Have it cleaned by a professional by scheduling a post dust storm tune-up.

George Brazil has been keeping Phoenix-area homes safe, comfortable and energy efficient since 1955. Contact us online for more information about any of our services.
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