Maintaining Your A/C Unit During Natural Disaster Season
HVAC protection is particularly important during storm season here in central Florida. Heavy rain and wind pose a distinct danger to certain HVAC components, particularly the outside half of your central air conditioner. This unit incorporates the A/C condenser coil and compressor—usually the most expensive component in the system—as well as vital electronic parts. While this unit is designed and engineered to resist normal rainfall and moderate winds, extra HVAC protection may be required for more hazardous weather during this season.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Storm winds may dislodge the outdoor condenser unit from its pad, breaking refrigerant lines and causing expensive damage. Verify that the unit is firmly mounted to the concrete pad where it’s located. Double-check the anchor bolts to make sure they’re tightened.
- Make sure the landscape around the outdoor condenser pad is slightly graded to divert pooling water during heavy rain away from the unit.
- If arrival of severe weather is imminent, turn off the air conditioner and cover the outdoor condenser with a heavy tarp or a commercially available A/C cover sized to fit your specific unit. It may be a good idea to have a piece of plywood cut to size to fit atop the unit, as well, weighted down with bricks for protection from falling limbs or debris. Before you re-start the air conditioner, remember to remove the cover.
- Bent coil fins on the outdoor condenser coil caused by hail during severe storms are prominently mentioned in homeowner’s insurance claims Hail damage may require costly replacement of the entire condenser. Installation of hail guards on the unit prevents coil damage hail as well as other flying debris.
- Power spikes and other anomalies often occur on the utility grid during severe storms. These may damage vulnerable home electronics include the chips and circuits inside your HVAC units. Stop damaging power surges during storm by installing a whole-house surge protection unit at your main power panel to filter all electricity entering the house.
More suggestions about HVAC protection are available from the pros at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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