How to Prepare Your AC For Hurricane Season With Hurricane Season slowly approaching, it is no wonder why Floridians are starting to prepare for the stormy weather. Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form together over warm oceanic waters. Since Florida is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, Florida is more vulnerable than any other state in the US. This would explain why 40 percent of Hurricanes that occur, hit the state of Florida. Besides the sunny weather and sandy beaches, Florida is known to be in “Hurricane Alley.” Knowing how to prepare your air conditioner for the stormy weather to come, is very important for your contiuted comfort.
You can never really turn your home into a “hurricane proof” dwelling. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to prevent extreme damage to your system. If you have had an air conditioning system installed within the past few years, your system should be secured to an approved concrete pad with Hurricane Straps. This procedure is a requirement per Florida building code, that mandates an air conditioner to be physically secured on a concrete slab outside any business or residence. Most air conditioner manufacturers have a guarantee that the system will withstand hurricane wind speeds up to 150 miles per hour. If you are not sure about the specifications regarding the system you have, contact the manufacturing company to obtain wind speed information.
When creating a plan for hurricane season, there are multiple factors that should be considered. From gathering food, flashlights and other house-hold items, preparing your air conditioner should be on your preparation list. As an air conditioning company, we are very concerned regarding the protection of your outside AC system. Here are a few key factors that you should follow to protect your system.
For starters, it is highly recommended to have a maintenance inspection if you have not recently had one. This will inform our technician and you of any issues that need to be addressed immediately. Not only do we want to protect your system for years to come, but we also want to ensure proper safety during heavy storms and hurricanes. We also want to prevent any issues from developing into serious complications down the road. Maintenance checks are very beneficial to both the homeowner and the air conditoning equipment.
When you receive news that a hurricane is heading towards your location, be prepared. If you know that the wind will be reaching high speeds, protect your AC system by covering it. Many units will have a specific cover, but if it doesn’t have one, then a tarp is good to use. If you have any trees near your system, please trim any branches that may fall off and damage the outside unit. This will help protect the unit from flying debris that could cause serious damage. For record high wind speeds, it is recommended to use hurricane straps or condenser straps to ensure proper safety. You wouldn’t think that a unit weighing several hundred pounds could become a projectile, but with high enough winds is certainly can.
Many people will save their electricity by pre-cooling their home, then shutting the system off. To pre-cool your home, you would turn the temperature to a cooler temperature than what you would normally set your thermostat at. This creates cold air to circulate around your home before turning the system off. Many people find this effective in saving the electricity and causing further damage to your AC system during the hurricane. Nobody wants to sit through a storm with no power and no air conditioning. If the hurricane is severe, you may experience heavy rain, fast wind speeds and lightening. This could cause power lines to fall or lightening strikes to surge your home. A power surge is a high spike in the home’s electrical current. This usually results in your home loosing power, whether temporarily or for hours at a time. AC Today can help prevent power surges from lightening by installing a Surge Arrester which is specifically designed to prevent costly power surges created by downed power lines ad lightning strikes. We would be happy to come out and inspect your system to see if you have or need one of these devices.
Once the hurricane has passed, inspect your air conditioner and the area surrounding area for visible damages. If you notice visible damages or are not sure, please contact us immediately. Our technicians will come out to inspect your system. Only turn on your unit if you are confident that there are no damages. You do not want to assist in further complications.
At AC Today, we know that hurricane season can become a very stressful, if you are not properly prepared. If you are unsure of how to protect your air conditioning system or have further questions, feel free to contact us. Our technicians will provide you with the proper information to protect your air conditioning system. Remember, you are not alone. Every homeowner is preparing for hurricane season at some point in time. Why not start now? Call AC Today to schedule your maintenance inspection before hurricane season.