Living in Florida, we’re no strangers to hurricane season. From June 1st through November 30th, we pay extra attention to the weather reports.
But we shouldn’t wait until the eleventh hour to get ready. It’s crucial to prepare for hurricane season before the storm watches, because once we’re in the thick of things, stores and gas stations will run out of all the must haves.
The Agency for Healthcare Administration warns about the importance of having a plan for your family and business, while FEMA has a set of guidelines to keep your home safe. Included among these are: securing rain gutters to prevent water damage to your home, and purchasing a portable generator to tide you over during power outages.
But what about your air conditioner? Do you know how to protect your AC unit during a hurricane? If you hadn’t thought about this before, we’re here to help.
Hurricane AC Preparation
Before the Storm
1. Elevate your air conditioner unit. Your AC needs to be high enough to stay safe in case of flooding. To read about Brevard County’s floodplain administration, click here.
2. Anchor the condenser unit. This is the portion outside your home. Since 2007, the Florida Building Code has required these to be anchored during construction. If your home is older than 2007, have an HVAC professional do it for you.
If you have a window unit, remove it and board up the opening. Store the unit in a high place inside your home where it isn’t likely to get wet from leaks, and cover it with tarps or plastic.
3. Protect the condenser unit. Once you’re sure it’s properly anchored, board it up or cover it with tarp to keep debris from collecting in the coils. Also, keep in mind that nearby branches can easily become projectiles or cause your backyard/frontyard to have additional debris. Besides being vital to preventing hurricane damage, regular pruning helps trees have healthier branches.
4. Shut off the power. Power surges that occur after a hurricane can cause a lot of damage to your HVAC system. So shut off the breaker. To play it even safer, you could also install a surge arrester.
After the Storm
1. Inspect your condenser unit. If the unit was properly covered, you likely won’t have too much debris stuck in the fins. However, check to see if they’re bent, since this would affect the airflow. If they are, fix them with a condenser fin comb.
If the condenser unit smells like something’s burning or if it’s making any hissing sounds. If there’s damage, HVAC professionals for assistance.
2. Pay attention to how long it takes your AC to cool your home. If it’s taking longer than usual, your AC may have a refrigerant leak. This should be fixed ASAP, to prevent refrigerant poisoning.
Call the HVAC Technicians at Colman Heating & Air for AC Service
Whether you’re looking to protect your home or business, we can get it done.
Contact us and to help protect your AC unit against the coming hurricane season.