Severe Weather & Exhaust Hoods - How To Protect Your Ventilation and HVAC Equipment

As the seasons continue to change, the weather ushers along all types of changes. The weather cools, then freezes - bringing snow, sleet, and other extreme weathers. Then as Spring approaches, the snow and the ice begin to melt, and the temperatures start to rise. And as the temperature rises, so does the frequency of abnormal and extreme weather conditions. Heavy rains, hurricanes, and tornadoes are common during the warmer months of the year, and bring with it the risk of damage to property, injury, or even loss of life. So how do we protect ourselves and our property - both residential and commercial - from these weather events?

Rooftop and outdoor commercial equipment have a long list of advantages - easy to install and easy access for maintenance, greatly reduces interior noise, and frees up space in the building. There are however the downsides that come with exposure to the outdoor elements. Being exposed to the elements means your unit is exposed to all instances of rain, snow, and the overall humid climate - all of which can lead to corrosion of internal components and eventually causing degradation in efficiency and full breakdowns. Being outside in frigid temperatures put the units at risk for freezing and icing over. Most outdoor units have the ability to defrost themselves, however constant defrosting can lead to wear of the components and if the defrosting system breaks your system is at risk for freezing. And with storms, tornadoes and hurricanes come heavy winds which can pick up local debris and send it hurling towards the exterior of the building and your HVAC system.

There are steps you can take to better prepare yourself for extreme weather conditions. First and foremost you should hire a local certified technician to run a maintenance check on your unit. A properly tuned and running system has a much better chance of withstanding harsh weather, and the tech can also check for any signs of wear and tear on the components and switch them out before bad weather. Outside of the unit itself you should look into having all surrounding trees and vegetation trimmed down to help prevent debris from physically damaging any of the outside equipment. If you don't own the commercial building you should contact your landlord or property management company and they can instruct you on how to get this handled. If you are expecting a severe severe storm, such as a Category 4 or 5 hurricane, and you may be away from your system for an extended period of time it is suggested that you not only turn off the system but also shut off the breakers for the unit as well. This will greatly reduce the risk of an electrical surge due to the severe weather, and help prevent damage or destruction of your HVAC system. If the unit is going to be powered down you could use a tarp or any other strong covering to help physically protect the unit - this will not only help prevent damage from flying debris but also keep mud, rain, and other debris from getting stuck in the system.

There is no clear cut method to fully protecting your HVAC and hood exhaust system during a severe storm, but if you follow the methods above you can certainly be prepared. Aside from these steps you should also make sure that your building insurance is always up to date, and if a bad storm is approaching you should document your equipment with photos and videos in the case that you do need to file an insurance claim. HoodMart provides our customers with a wide range of exhaust hood systems - from Compensating (Short Cycle) to Perforated Supply Plenum PSP - as well as all exhaust hood accessories such as no weld Grease Duct, hood filters, canopy hood lights, and curbs. Our walk-in selection offers coolers and freezers from quick ship to custom. If you have questions regarding the purchase of your hood system or walk-in, please feel free to contact one of our experts today by calling us at 1.800.715.1014 or by contacting us through our live chat system.