Preparing Your HVAC Unit To Get Through An Earthquake

Posted on: 12 December 2016

If you live in an area where earthquakes are a very real part of life, then you know how important it is to ensure your home is prepared to withstand any potential seismic activity that might occur. While most people take the time to address their home's foundation when trying to prepare their property for an earthquake, few take the time to address the needs of their HVAC unit as well.

Here are three simple things that you can do to ensure your HVAC unit is prepared to get through an earthquake in the future.

1. Install vibration isolators.

A lot of the damage that your HVAC unit could sustain during an earthquake comes as a result of the shifting that occurs with seismic activity. Providing your HVAC unit with a buffer that can absorb these vibrations before they cause the unit itself to shift is a great way to prevent damage during an earthquake.

Talk to your HVAC contractor about retrofitting your home's HVAC unit with vibration isolators. These spring-type devices can be installed on the bottom of your unit to absorb movement before it affects your HVAC unit's positioning.

2. Have your HVAC unit tested.

In order to determine how prepared your HVAC unit is for an earthquake, it can be beneficial to have a professional conduct a seismic certification test. This test will allow you to see how equipped your unit is to maintain its structural integrity under certain seismic conditions.

The testing professional knows what type of seismic activity most frequently occurs in your geographic area, and you can use his or her recommendations to retrofit your HVAC unit with additional equipment (like restraint brackets or seismic snubbers) to ensure it will not sustain serious damage during an earthquake.

3. Add flex-line piping.

The rigid pipes used to transfer both natural gas and air into your HVAC unit are susceptible to damage during an earthquake. The metal used to create these pipes is not able to flex or bend when subjected to seismic vibrations. You can have your HVAC contractor line the interior of these rigid pipes with flex-line piping. This type of piping is made from flexible materials that will absorb the vibrations created during an earthquake before they can crack or break your rigid metal gas and condensate pipes.

Preparing your HVAC unit to get through an earthquake is a simple and effective way to reduce the amount of damage you must repair the next time seismic vibrations plague your community. For more information, contact local professionals like Allcounty Plumbing & Heating Corp.