Last week, the remnants of Hurricane Irma came to visit us in Columbia SC. and although we didn’t see nearly the storm that effected those in Florida, we still got some substantial winds and rain.
Dozens of trees toppled in the tropical storm force winds closing streets knocking out power and, in one case, crashing through an apartment building. 250,000 people across the state of South Carolina lost power due to the storm. Overall, the downed trees and flooding closed 160 roads in 10 counties around the state.
After the Storm, We Clean Up
Of course, after the remnants of hurricane Irma came through, we all got out there and did our best to clean up. (Here at BRAVO!, that is our favorite part). Debris is cleared from streets and yards, water recedes, power returns and things get back to normal.
Although, much care has to be given to proper clean up inside your businesses and homes as well as outside. After a storm like this it is inevitable that people will track debris and moisture inside with them. This can create health issues down the road. Wet carpets promote mold growth, and dirt and other debris breaks down into fine particles that get kicked back up later to destroy the air quality of your building. We recommend everyone do a thorough cleaning of the inside of your building after the power returns and you are back to normalcy. If you are a business in Columbia SC, call BRAVO! Group Services and we can help with this.
Huge tree has fallen at the 600 block of Henderson Street. Some residents were inside at the time. pic.twitter.com/LHY3TMHUTk
— Cola Police Dept. SC (@ColumbiaPDSC) September 11, 2017
Did The Winds Affect My HVAC?
High winds from a storm like Irma can have devastating effects on an HVAC unit. And sometimes, it doesn’t get noticed right away. This can cause problems with having the repairs to the system covered by insurance. Therefore, it is important that you have your HVAC system inspected after a large storm to see if there is damage that requires attention.
The most common issue from wind and rain damage to HVAC units is dust and debris clogged condenser coils.
HVAC units tend to be in open spaces so that they have plenty of space to draw in unobstructed airflow. This makes them susceptible to the dust and debris that is picked up by tropical storm force winds and then slammed into the condenser coil at high speed.
These clogged coils restrict the airflow through the unit and reduces the heat transfer from the refrigerant to the ambient air. This reduces the units ability to adequately cool the internal space. As a result, the HVAC unit must work harder. This increase power consumption as well as wear and tear that could lead to a catastrophic failure down the road. Coil fins can also be damaged due to smaller impacts of flying debris. These impact will have similar results as clogging the coil. This type of damage is not as evident to the end user, because the system may still seem to be functioning normally, with an increase in power usage being the only indicator to the untrained eye that something is wrong.
Of course, tropical storm force winds can also cause trees to fall on condenser units, units to be ripped away from their position, and sometimes ripped away from the property all together. But these instances are usually noticed right away.
BRAVO! Group Services has a professional HVAC service team that can come and inspect your system to determine if Irma’s winds may have damaged your HVAC. In most cases, we can repair the damage, and get you back to running properly before you know it. Give BRAVO! a call for your HVAC needs.