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.
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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.