As hurricane season approaches, it’s essential to prepare your home and family for potential storms. However, many homeowners forget to prepare their air conditioning unit, which can lead to a sweltering home in the midst of a hurricane. Taking a few simple steps to prepare your AC unit can help ensure it stays safe and functional in the event of a storm. This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to prepare your AC unit for hurricane season.
Understanding the Impact of Hurricanes on AC Units
Before we dive into the steps to prepare your AC unit for a hurricane, it’s essential to understand the impact of hurricanes on these units. High winds, heavy rains, and flooding can all lead to significant damage to your AC unit. Flying debris can also puncture your unit’s coils or damage the fan blades. Additionally, power outages during the storm can cause electrical damage to your AC unit.
Pre-Hurricane Season Maintenance Tips
The best way to prepare your AC unit for hurricane season is to perform regular maintenance throughout the year. Here are some pre-hurricane season maintenance tips:
- Clean the Unit: Dirt, debris, and leaves can clog your AC unit’s fins, reducing airflow and efficiency. Clean your unit at least twice a year to prevent this.
- Change the Air Filter: A dirty air filter can reduce airflow and efficiency, leading to higher energy bills and premature wear and tear on the unit. Change your air filter every three months.
- Inspect the Wiring and Connections: Check the wiring and connections on your AC unit for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed wires or loose connections. If you notice any issues, contact a professional for repairs.
Performing these maintenance tasks can help identify any potential issues with your AC unit before hurricane season arrives.
How to Secure Your AC Unit During a Hurricane
Once a hurricane is on the horizon, it’s time to take steps to secure your AC unit. Here are some tips:
- Shut off the Power: Turn off the power to your AC unit at the circuit breaker to prevent electrical damage during the storm.
- Secure the Unit: High winds can cause your AC unit to become a projectile, damaging your home or other property. Secure your AC unit to a concrete slab or use hurricane straps to keep it in place.
- Cover the Unit: Covering your AC unit with a tarp or other protective covering can prevent flying debris from damaging it. However, be sure to remove the cover as soon as the storm passes to prevent moisture buildup and damage to the unit.
Post-Hurricane Season Maintenance Tips
After the hurricane has passed, it’s essential to perform a thorough inspection of your AC unit. Here are some post-hurricane season maintenance tips:
- Remove Debris: Clear any debris, leaves, or branches from the unit to prevent clogging and damage.
- Check for Damage: Inspect your AC unit for any signs of damage, such as dents, punctures, or bent fins. If you notice any damage, contact a professional for repairs.
- Clean the Unit: After the storm, clean your AC unit thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated.
Signs of Damage to Look Out for After a Hurricane
Even if your AC unit appears to be functioning correctly after a hurricane, there may be hidden damage. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Strange Noises: If your AC unit is making strange noises, such as rattling or clanking, it may be a sign of damage. Contact a professional for an inspection.
- Poor Airflow: Reduced airflow can be a sign of damage to the unit’s coils or fan blades. Contact a professional for repairs.
- Increased Energy Bills: If your energy bills have increased significantly after the storm, it may be a sign of damage or reduced efficiency in your AC unit.
DIY Repairs vs. Professional Repairs
While some maintenance tasks, such as cleaning your AC unit, can be done yourself, it’s best to leave repairs to the AC experts. Attempting DIY repairs can be dangerous and can cause further damage to your AC unit.
Insurance Coverage for AC Unit Damage During a Hurricane
If your AC unit is damaged during a hurricane, you may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, it’s essential to review your policy and understand the coverage limits and deductibles.
Additional Tips for Hurricane Preparedness
Preparing your AC unit is just one step in hurricane preparedness. Here are some additional tips:
- Create an Emergency Kit: Create an emergency kit with essential supplies, such as food, water, medications, and first aid supplies.
- Evacuation Plan: Have a plan in place for evacuation if necessary.
- Secure Outdoor Furniture and Decor: Secure any outdoor furniture or decor that could become a projectile during the storm.
Keep your AC running smoothly – during Hurricane Season and the whole Year!
Preparing your AC unit for hurricane season is essential to ensure your home and family stay cool during the storm. Regular maintenance and taking steps to secure your unit can help prevent damage and ensure it stays functional. Don’t wait until it’s too late – take action now to protect your home and keep your family cool during the storm. To be on the safe side and address any AC problems in the Tampa area: Contact the professionals at Action Air Conditioning!