From late summer to mid-autumn, you can expect to deal with at least one or two hurricanes per year in South Florida. Up until then, and perhaps even sporadically throughout the season, you were likely enjoying the cool, comforting breeze of an air conditioning unit. Air conditioning can be a blessing during the heat and between those uncertain storms. But is your AC unit as ready for a hurricane as it could be?
Protecting Your AC Unit
Whether it’s a window unit or a central AC unit, take these steps to protect your air conditioner right before a storm:
Turn off the air conditioning system
It’s hard, especially with how muggy and humid the weather might be, but turning off the system is the best way to preserve it for another day. Make sure every part of the unit shuts off fully, even the thermostat.
Make sure your AC unit has tie-down straps
If your air conditioner unit was installed after the late 1990s, especially if you live in an area likely to deal with hurricane damage, such as South Florida, chances are your AC unit was installed with straps. Otherwise, have an HVAC contractor, such as ECM Air Conditioning, come out and install some tie-down straps as soon as possible. If you do already have them, make sure they aren’t rusted, bent, or otherwise damaged.
Invest in a surge protector
Connect any major appliances, including your air conditioner, to a surge protector rather than an in-wall outlet. It will protect your expensive appliances from frying if something happens with the power.
Trim trees and remove outside furniture and items
During a hurricane, the wind alone is relentless. Make sure you trim trees, hedges, and bushes to free them of any loose branches that could go flying. Collect any of your outdoor belongings: patio sets, pool toys, grills, etc. Move anything that isn’t strapped down into the house or garage.
Cover your air conditioner condenser unit with a tarp
Even after removing all of those potential hazards from higher up on the list, something might be blown in from clear across town. You can’t really plan for that, but the best thing to do as a precaution is to cover your AC unit with a thick, heavy tarp.
If your AC unit is in a window, remove it
This might go without saying, but for window units or units that drain out through a window or any other opening, be sure to unplug and remove the ac unit from the opening. Make sure that the window or other opening is tightly sealed after removal.
Invest in a Generator
Even if you unplug everything and safely tuck it away in your home, invest in a generator and make sure it’s charged or fueled before the storm. If the hurricane knocks out your power, you’ll want that generator as a backup to connect to until power lines and breakers can be fixed. You can have one professionally installed by ECM Electrical call us for more details (561-295-1763).
After the Storm
After you’re sure the storm has passed, you should wait to power on your air conditioner. Make sure you or a professional have time to look over and inspect the AC unit before use, especially if you aren’t sure if there was damage to it during the storm. For external units that may have been flooded, contact a professional ac technician to check your unit.
ECM provides ac maintenance services within Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County, and St. Lucie County. If you’re having issues with your HVAC system, we’re on-call and ready to assist you. So if you’re in need of AC maintenance, don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule AC maintenance! Our Air Conditioning maintenance experts will help you maintain your HVAC system and inform you of any issues that may be discovered, in advance, to help prevent costly unexpected breakdowns. Call us at 561-295-1763 or contact our AC maintenance team online by clicking here.
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