Spring is already here, and summer is right around the corner! Here in the Kansas City area that means BBQ, baseball, swimming pools, ice cream cones, hammocks, flip flops, pitchers of sangria and, of course, wicked Midwestern thunderstorms that rattle the windows, douse the house and yard, and light up the sky.
Yes, seasonal storms have returned to KC. While they can be amazing at times, they also have the capacity to do some serious damage to your home if you're not prepared. Fortunately, your Olathe heating and cooling pros at Davenport Service Company have put together a list of some of the best ways to be ready for summer storms before they happen.
Trim Trees and Clear Hanging Limbs – Even when it isn't storming, wind can be a major threat here in the Midwest, especially if your home is surrounded by tall trees. Trimming your trees is good for the trees themselves and for your property. A good trimming will also help prevent large limbs from causing damage to your home or anything parked in the driveway during high winds. It'll help keep your gutters clear, too.
Keep Your Gutters Clean – On the subject of your gutters, you'll want to keep them clean all year long. Gutters are there for a reason, and clogged gutters allow rainwater to pool on your roof. That's bad, because all that water sitting up there causes strain to the roof itself and can lead to water damage as it soaks in. You'll also want to protect your foundation by ensuring that downspouts drain properly and away from your house.
Test Your Sump Pump – If you have a basement, chances are you have a sump pump – at least if you live in the Midwest. Sump pumps perform an important function, helping to keep water and sewage out of your basement, especially during heavy rains. Unfortunately, with the kinds of storms we get around here, sump pumps can become overworked and potentially shut off. If you're not sure how to test your sump pump, an Olathe heating and cooling professional from Davenport Service Company will be happy to do that for you as part of a routine HVAC service call. Speaking of which…
Have Your Whole HVAC System Serviced – It's a good idea to get your HVAC system checked out by a professional at least twice a year, and the changing of the seasons is the perfect time. Before the summer weather gets too hot, make sure that your A/C and furnace are in good working order. Signing up for a regular maintenance program will take the guesswork out and ensure that you're in good shape year round.
Inspect Your Roof – Spring and summer storms can take a serious toll on your roof, especially if they're accompanied by large hail, so it's a good idea to take advantage of any nice weather to keep an eye on your roof. Usually, you can do that without getting up on a ladder or onto your roof. Even an inspection from the ground can spot major issues. If you do feel the need to get up onto your roof for a closer look, though, never do so without proper safety equipment. If you don't feel comfortable getting up there yourself, you can always call a roofing professional to take a look.
Secure Your Outdoor Furniture – Patio furniture and anything else that normally stays outside but isn't bolted down should have a place where you can move it in the event of high winds, hail, or other damaging weather. You'll be keeping these items safe while protecting your home from potential flying debris. A patio chair can do some damage if the wind picks it up!
Test Your Backup Generator – If you have a backup generator, you want to make sure that it's working before the power goes out. Consult your manufacturer's guide to see what sorts of regular maintenance it needs, and test it out periodically to make sure that it's functioning normally.
Assemble a Power Outage Kit – Here in Olathe, the power doesn't go out very often, but we definitely want to be prepared when it does. A power outage kit should contain a gallon of water per person per day as well as enough food and snacks to get you and your family through a few days without electricity. It's also a good idea to pack everyone a change of clothes, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio so that you can listen to weather reports, a hand-crank flashlight or two, a first aid kit, at least one cell phone charger, any medications you need, some cash, and phone numbers for anyone you may need to call in an emergency, including friends and relatives but also emergency services and your Olathe heating and cooling company.
Know What to Unplug – Lightning storms can damage expensive electronics, especially if they aren't plugged into surge protectors. Do a little online sleuthing to find out which of your items should be unplugged from the wall in the event of a storm. Likely candidates are flatscreen TVs, computers, laptops, cell phones that are charging, and stereo systems.
Prepare to Shut Down the Air Conditioner – Indoor appliances aren't the only ones that can be damaged by power surges during electrical storms. You'll also want to learn how to shut down your air conditioner in the event of a lightning storm so that you can protect it from potential harm.
Call a Heating and Cooling Pro if You Have Concerns – If you think that a spring or summer storm has damaged your air conditioner – or if any part of your home HVAC system isn't behaving as it should – then you should call your Olathe heating and cooling service professional to get it checked out and repaired or replaced immediately. An air conditioner or HVAC system that is damaged or not operating correctly may be less efficient, more expensive, or even dangerous to your home and family. Call the pros right away if you suspect trouble.
At Davenport Service Company, we've been providing tune-ups and other Olathe heating and cooling service for more than thirty years, so that our customers can enjoy peace of mind, no matter what the weather is doing outside. Whether you're looking for routine maintenance or have concerns about your air conditioner or any other aspect of your home HVAC system, call Davenport at 913-441-2222 today!