Hurricane season, which runs from June through November, can have devastating consequences on your air conditioner if it catches you unprepared. While your AC unit is sturdy, it’s still susceptible to damage from high winds, torrential rain, lightning, and all the debris that flies around when a storm hits.
So, as you start boarding up your windows and moving outdoor furniture inside, use these smart steps to protect your AC system from storms. And don’t forget to consult an experienced Florida air conditioning professional to get more advice regarding storms.
Consider Installing a Surge Protector
During a storm, lightning strikes frequently cause power surges, sending a huge spike in voltage through your home’s electrical system. By the time your circuit breaker trips, your AC or any device that’s plugged in could be severely damaged. A surge protector shields your AC system and appliances by diverting and absorbing excess electricity.
Prepare Your Yard
Those beautiful trees and cozy outdoor furniture could work against you in a severe storm. A violent storm may break them into pieces, and the debris may strike and damage your air conditioning system. So, when storm season approaches, trim back tree branches and remove dead limbs. Place any loose outdoor objects like patio furniture and grills inside and make sure they’re safely fastened.
Pre-Cool Your Home Before the Storm Hits
If it’s hot outside and your community may experience a storm, it’s wise to cool your home in advance. This is a safe way to remain comfortable, as you don’t want to risk running your AC when a violent storm is passing through. Hours before the storm, lower your thermostat setting several degrees and close your windows and doors to keep the cool air inside.
Turn Off Your AC System
At the first sign of flickering lights, immediately power off your air conditioner. Even if you have a surge protector to shield against power spikes, it’s still a good idea to turn off the air conditioner. This step will also protect your AC from fire hazards or costly breakdowns if flying debris gets stuck within the interior of your running unit. Make sure you turn the system off at the thermostat and circuit breaker.
Secure and Cover Your Outdoor Condenser
While typical storm winds may not harm your condenser, some high winds are powerful enough to dislodge the condenser from where it’s installed. If you have an elevated air conditioner, secure it with hurricane straps to keep it from moving during the storm. Also, fasten the bolts that attach the AC to the base. If your condenser unit isn’t raised off the ground, partner with an AC professional to protect it from floodwater. Cover the condenser with an AC-specific tarp if you’re expecting a hurricane.
Schedule an AC Inspection Before and After a Severe Storm
To prepare your AC for a storm, partner with Veteran Air Conditioning. We have a dedicated team of licensed and insured AC technicians who will go above and beyond to get your unit ready for the next storm. After an extreme weather event, we’ll also inspect your system to ensure it is safe before you resume operating it.
Whenever you need expert AC advice, repairs, or HVAC tune-ups in Sarasota or Bradenton, feel free to reach out to us!