As Hurricane Michael bears down on the Florida Panhandle as a dangerous Category 4 Hurricane, we in the Sarasota and Manatee County areas are already feeling the effects of Michael with gusty winds and storm surge even though Michael is passing more than 200 miles to the West of us.

This is a good time to remind you how to protect your A/C System prior to a hurricane’s arrival and how to safely operate it once the storm has passed and power restored.

As a hurricane approaches, you will typically take steps to protect your home such as installing storm shutters and safely storing items located outside your home such as patio furniture, etc. Add the following to your hurricane preparation checklist:

  • Outside your home, remove any items or debris that might damage your A/C System’s condensing section.
  • Consider pre-cooling your home by setting your thermostat much lower than normal. Much in the same way that you set your refrigerator setting to lower than normal in advance of a storm, pre-cooling your home can buy you a few extra hours of comfort once your neighborhood loses power.
  • If you are evacuating your home and if you have a custom cover, tarp or plywood to protect your condensing section, be sure to apply the protection to the unit. HOWEVER, DO NOT COVER YOUR CONDENSING SECTION UNTIL YOU TURN OFF THE POWER TO THE UNIT!
  • If you live in an area at risk to storm surge, place sandbags around your condensing section in an effort to keep saltwater from immersing your unit.
  • If you have a backup generator, be sure to have plenty of fuel and to test it prior to the storm’s arrival.

In the aftermath of a hurricane, the conditions will be muggy and miserable. You will be quite eager to get your home cooled. Take the following steps to restore A/C System operation once the storm has passed:

  • Inspect the perimeter of your home for damage and debris. Before you restore power or turn on your A/C System, confirm that there is no damage to your condensing section and that there is no debris that might restrict airflow to the unit. If your unit is damaged, Contact Us so that we can dispatch an ACT EMT to repair your unit ASAP.
  • If power is out, follow your procedures to connect your backup generator. BE SURE TO PROPERLY VENTILATE YOUR GENERATOR – DO NOT RUN A GENERATOR INDOORS. CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING KILLS MANY PEOPLE IN THE WAKE OF HURRICANES.
  • When you turn on your A/C System, monitor the system’s performance in case another portion of the system was damage without your knowing.

The most effective way to ensure your A/C System is prepared for a hurricane is to purchase an ACT Maintenance Agreement. We will prepare your system for Hurricane Season plus a Maintenance Agreement gives you Priority Response for repair calls, especially in the wake of a storm. Once the local authorities announce that an area is safe, our ACT EMTs will be on their way.

We at AC Today are here for you. Please call AC Today or stop by our headquarters to have a cup of coffee and to speak with our System Experts and Maintenance Agreement Specialists.