Hurricane season starts on June 1st, but we’ve already felt the effects of strong thunderstorms here in North Central Florida. It’s important to give yourself ample time to prepare for these strong storms. It is strongly recommended that you start assembling a hurricane emergency kit, but it’s also important to prep your HVAC unit before the peak of the season.
You can start preparing your HVAC unit well before the hurricanes make landfall with regular AC checkups and preventative maintenance. It is strongly recommended you have your unit checked at least once a year to reduce need for costly repairs and save you money over the year. We want your AC in the best condition when facing the effects of a hurricane. Whether your unit is new or old, the damage will be the same if you don’t take preventative measures before the storm.
Along with other precautions, you should keep your HVAC unit in mind when a hurricane is approaching. Make sure that your unit is on a concrete slab because after a storm, you want your unit to above sitting water. This also ensures your unit will be on a solid foundation, even if the ground surrounding it is uneven.
You should also remove any objects from your yard or that surrounds your home that could become projectiles. Your unit should have tie-downs, but make sure they are able to withstand 160mph. If not, you can easily upgrade your tie-downs to be strong against a hurricane.
It is also recommended you purchase a waterproof tarp to cover your unit with to protect it from water damage. This isn’t recommended any other time due to the threat from rust and mold, but it will better protect your unit during the heavy rain!
Once the storm hits, make sure that your air conditioning is turned off. Power going in and out can have detrimental effects on your HVAC unit. With power changes, the compressor in your unit can be damaged and cost you greatly down the road. Keep cool with ceiling fans and electric floor fans.
Lightning is a threat during any storm, but especially during a hurricane. Sadly, there is no way to prevent lightning from striking your home or HVAC unit. If damage occurs from lightning, be sure to check your capacitor, which is like a battery. The repair is relatively inexpensive, but gone untreated, could greatly take its toll on your compressor which could require expensive repairs in the future.
Investing in a surge-protector for your HVAC unit is a great way to prevent the damaging effects of a lightning strike.
Once the storm passes and it is safe, turn your air conditioning back on. This will fight mold and bacteria that could enter your unit and home in the humid post-storm air. You should be very cautious before turning your unit back on. Inspect your unit thoroughly to make sure there is no apparent damage. If there is damage, turning it on could be much worse for your unit than you would expect.
An informal inspection of your unit before you turn it back on is important, but it is equally important to have a professional HVAC contractor inspect your unit. The earlier damages are detected, the easier the repairs will be, saving you time and money.
Hurricane season starts in June for Floridians, but the worst of the storms appear mid-August through late October. You don’t want to wait until the last minute to start preparing. Contact Bertie Heating & Air to make sure your HVAC unit is ready for hurricane season! If you have experienced any damage on your unit from a storm, call us and we can assess the damage and make repairs!