Do Power Outages Affect My HVAC Equipment?

Severe weather, wildlife, vehicle accidents and trees are some of the most common causes of power outages in the Tampa area. We have all been inconvenienced by the momentary interruptions or worse…hours of no electricity. Once the power is restored, we are grateful to see the lights come back on and all of our computers, televisions and other electrical devices in proper working order. Our biggest concern is resetting the clocks throughout our homes. But have you considered the effects of power outages on your HVAC equipment?

Demand for Electricity Increases During the Summer

The utility companies in the Tampa area are responsible for ensuring that every resident and business has the water, electricity and natural gas that is needed to operate HVAC systems, street lights, refrigeration, traffic lights and a multitude of other types of equipment and devices. When Florida experiences high temperatures, the demand for electricity increases significantly. Entire neighborhoods or sections of Tampa can be without power. We also experience severe weather in Florida, as well as other incidents that can interrupt our power supply. Summer time is the worst possible time to be without electricity because we are all relying on our air conditioning systems to keep us cool and healthy.

Back Up Plans for Power Outages

If you are like most homeowners, you have taken steps to protect your valuable equipment with surge protectors and battery back-up power supplies. The computers in your home may already use an external hard drive or cloud service to routinely save your data in case your computer stops working. But what can you do for your HVAC system?

Back-Up Power Supplies Save Lives

Florida has seen its fair share of nasty weather in recent years, and our neighboring states have experienced a complete loss of power for weeks and even months. Back-up power generators that are large enough to operate your HVAC equipment and other critical electrical equipment can keep your family safe in the most disastrous conditions. And Services can recommend a generator that will run your heating and air conditioning as well as other items in your home in case of a power emergency.

Best Practices for Power Outages

If you do not have a back-up generator, you should take some basic steps to protect your valuable HVAC system in the event of a power outage.

  1. Turn off the system at the thermostat. This prevents the system from abruptly starting when power is restored. Suddenly feeds of electricity could damage the equipment and shorten its lifetime.
  2. When the power is restored, check your circuit breakers first. Reset any that were tripped by the power outage.
  3. Wait at least 20 minutes after resetting the breakers before adjusting the thermostat for your HVAC system. The reason for doing this is that most modern heating and cooling systems have internal circuit breakers that will need time to reset. The breakers cannot reset if the thermostat is set to power on the system.

The HVAC equipment should operate normally. If you have problems restarting the system or notice any new problems, contact And Services, and we will send a technician right over. Many times the problem is easy to remedy, but you may have a larger problem looming due to damage caused by the surge of electricity before or after the power outage.