Hurricane season is upon us once again! If you’ve been living in Florida for any length of time, you probably have a hurricane preparedness checklist and a stockpile of supplies. But many people don’t give enough thought to making sure their AC systems can safely weather the storm.
Taking the time to prepare your AC system can help you avoid expensive damage and lower the chances that you’ll have to suffer in sweltering heat after the danger has passed. Here are a few of the most important things you can do when a hurricane or tropical storm is coming our way.
Secure Your Outdoor Unit
Start your preparations by making sure your outdoor unit is secure. Check that all the bolts are tightened down and consider adding hurricane straps to hold down your condenser. Also, be sure to remove any branches, leaves, or other debris that has accumulated around your unit.
Consider Whether You Need Elevation
If you’re concerned about hurricane-related flooding, you may want to contact an AC professional to elevate your unit higher than it usually sits. This can help keep water from getting into your unit, which can lead to expensive damage.
Cool Your Home Down
Hurricanes create a high probability of power outages. Several hours before the storm is expected to hit, turn your thermostat down a few degrees, close your blinds, and keep all doors and windows closed. This will help your home stay cool for as long as possible, even if your AC isn’t running.
Turn off Your AC System
As the storm gets closer, unplug your AC unit or turn off your power completely. This will help you avoid damage that can be caused by electrical surges or loose debris. If you’ve turned down the temperature a few hours prior, your home should stay comfortable until the storm has passed.
Over Your Outdoor Unit
Once you’ve turned off the power to your AC system, consider covering your outdoor unit with plywood or a tarp. This will protect it from flying debris, such as branches or tree limbs. Be sure to secure the cover tightly and don’t forget to remove it as soon as it is safe to do so, as keeping your unit covered for too long can allow mildew and mold to grow.
Inspect for Damage
Once the hurricane is no longer threatening your area, your first instinct might be to turn the AC right back on – but this is a mistake. Instead, it’s important to wait until you’ve had a chance to thoroughly inspect it.
Check carefully for any damage that may have been caused by high winds, flooding, or debris. Also, check for disconnected pipes or wires, flooded water, or any other kind of physical damage.
If you’ve found any potential issues during your inspection, take photos in case you need to make an insurance claim. Then, reach out to our AC repair specialists right away. We’ll quickly repair any damage we find so you can feel confident about running your AC system.