June 1st marked the beginning of the 2017 Hurricane Season. We all know what we need to buy in case of a storm and where we plan to evacuate, if need be. But is your air conditioner prepared to withstand a storm? There are a few things you can do before, during, and after a strong storm to keep your AC safe from power surges or more severe damage. Even a small surge can cause an electrical fire or damage parts in your AC, which can cause your unit to run hotter and more often and ultimately shorten its lifespan.
Well Before a Storm
- Consider raising your AC condensing unit onto an eight-inch thick hurricane pad. Just this little bit of lift helps prevent flooding from shorting out your unit or even your whole house. Also, this additional height has the added bonus of helping to keep lawn clippings and debris away from your unit and clogging up its coils.
- Check your tide downs. Current code requires tie down straps rated to 160 mph for new AC units. If you’re straps aren’t rated to 160 mph (or you need new tie down straps), they can easily be installed on existing units.
Right Before a Storm
- Clear your yard of debris, toys, patio furniture, plants, décor, and anything else that could be blown around in the wind.
- Use those tie down straps and a tarp to protect and secure your outdoor AC unit.
- If you have a window unit, be sure to unplug and remove it from the window before the storm.
- Prepare your generator if you have one.
During the Storm
- Turn off your AC in the case of a lightning storm or a hurricane to protect your system from power surges.
After the Storm
- After removing the tarp and tie down straps, be sure to check for any flooding or damage to the system. If there is any debris from the storm, clear it away. If you have any concerns that your system has been damaged or compromised, be sure to call a professional for a more thorough damage assessment.
The 2017 Hurricane Season is expected to be busier than usual, so it’s important to have a plan in place. Serving St. Lucie and Martin Counties, the local experts at American Air Cares are here to help you both before and after a storm.