Getting your home ready for a hurricane is a major undertaking. One of the items you should consider is your home’s central air conditioning system. Here are some things to consider when prepping your home for any major storm.
Before the Storm…
- Check the hurricane straps which hold the outside condenser unit to the concrete hurricane pad; insure they are in good condition.
- Remove any surrounding objects and debris from around the outdoor units.
- ex: Patio furniture, yard equipment and lawn ornaments should be moved into a storage shed or inside the house and trim trees or shrubs to avoid damage.
- Lower the temperature several degrees cooler than your usual preferred indoor temperature. This pre-cools your home and helps to keep your home cooler during and after the storm passes.
As the Storm Arrives…
- TURN YOUR AIR CONDITIONER OFF both at the thermostat and the circuit breaker.
- KEEP YOUR SYSTEM OFF DURING THE STORM. Power surges are a concern with any Florida storm. The constant power interruptions associated with major storms can cause your system to suffer serious damage.
- Cover the outside unit with a heavy tarp or wooden cage, secured to the concrete hurricane slab; this helps to prevent flying debris from puncturing the coil or compressor.
After the Storm Passes…
- When it is safe to go outside, remove any covering and inspect your air conditioner.
- Was the A/C unit underwater at any point?
- Are all refrigerant and electrical lines intact?
- Is the condenser fan and the coil free of debris?
- Do you hear a hissing noise like something is leaking air?
- If anything looks damaged, like it has been submerged or out of the ordinary DO NOT START UP. Call for an Emergency Service Appointment.
- If all seems ok after your inspection, turn your A/C back on as soon as possible, first at the circuit breaker then at the thermostat.
- Leaving your a/c off for too long can give mold an opportunity to establish a foothold in your system and ducts.
- Make sure to continually inspect your A/C system after starting it up. If you detect any evidence of electrical smoke…turn the system off. The storm may have damaged your system and operating it can make things worse.