With another hurricane season right around the corner, it’s time to get your home ready to withstand the double danger of high winds and punishing torrential rains. When you’re taking essential safety precautions, don’t forget to look after the A/C. Following a few simple steps can help you prepare your air conditioner for hurricane season.
Before a Storm Arrives
If you have a newer air conditioner, the outdoor unit is probably already attached to a concrete pad that’s designed keep it secure in winds up to 150 mph. If you have an older cooling system, talk to your HVAC contractor about installing hurricane straps to keep it place during severe weather. When a storm is predicted, put away patio furniture, lawn ornaments, yard equipment, bicycles and any other items that can easily become flying projectiles and damage the air conditioner when wind speed picks up.
During a Hurricane
Just before a strong storm is due to hit, lower the thermostat setting a few degrees to cool down your home. Once the blower cycles off, shut down the air conditioner at both the thermostat and the circuit breaker. Keeping the cooling equipment running during a hurricane leaves it vulnerable to power surges that can cause serious internal damage.
After the Storm Passes
For safety and to protect your home’s costly cooling system components, don’t restore power to the air conditioner without checking it over first. Once the wind has calmed down and it’s safe to go outside, do a visual inspection to check whether:
- The A/C was underwater or flooded
- There are frayed or disconnected electrical or refrigerant lines
- There’s obvious impact damage from a fallen tree or other object
- You detect the odor of burned electrical wires
- The vents or fan are obstructed by debris
If there are any obvious signs of damage or you have any concerns, don’t restore power until you’ve had an HVAC pro thoroughly inspect the cooling system.
The home comfort pros at Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning can help prepare your air conditioner for hurricane season or provide peace of mind with a system inspection after a storm.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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