It's easy to understand why hurricanes have such a bad reputation compared to other thunderstorms. The images of large, rotating storms created over the warm, tropical waters can be alarming, especially factoring in the minimum 74 mph winds and the storms' erratic paths. They can impact anything in their way, including residential and commercial HVAC systems. But insurance professionals shouldn't assume a hurricane is the cause for all HVAC system damage during that timeframe because there are issues to look for and to be wary of following a storm.

Condensing unit takes the brunt

Hurricanes and tropical storms cause more costly damage than inland storms because of flooding from heavy rains and storm surges and damage from hurricane-force winds. A 2019 report from the Congressional Budget Office estimates that expected annual economic losses from most types of damages caused by hurricane winds and storm-related flooding total $54 billion for households, commercial businesses and the public sector.

Hurricanes, depending on their category, can have wind speeds of 74 mph to upward of 157 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. It's no wonder that wind is the main concern related to HVAC systems.

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