When severe storms and hurricanes rip through the state of Florida, you can never be certain where it will strike next and with how much force. Until the weather announcement comes, no one knows for sure.
You may have your emergency preparedness kit ready, as well as other provisions you’re accustomed to using during evacuations and power outages. Perhaps you lock your shutters or board up your windows in preparation for the oncoming storm. But what do you do to protect your HVAC system from severe weather effects?
If you want to avoid a damaged or destroyed HVAC system, there are a few safety precautions you can take to boost the chances your HVAC system will weather the storm like a boss.
Let’s take a look at those now.
Shut Off the Power
You may know to unplug or shut off your electronics indoors to protect them from an electrical surge, but do you cut off the electricity to your HVAC system? A variety of storm-related threats can put your HVAC system in jeopardy and fry the circuits:
- Restored power
Even after a storm is over, and you have no power, you should still make an effort to shut everything off. Most people don’t realize a power surge can occur when electricity is restored, and this often causes the demise of many electronic appliances.
To protect your major appliance, shut off your HVAC system at your circuit breaker and leave it off until after your electricity returns.
When you decide the time is right to turn your HVAC system on again, be sure to observe it for a while to ensure it’s working properly. If it is making odd noises or will not turn on, call Action Air Conditioning, and we will send a technician over to your home as soon as possible.
We understand that sometimes, you can’t afford to shut off your AC unit during a storm. You may have a health condition, live with aging parents, have small children, or have heat sensitivities. Although there is always a chance of a power surge, purchasing a high-quality surge protector for your AC unit is a worthy investment if you need to run your AC during severe weather. But just to be on the safe side, you should always have a backup plan. Purchase and store a few things to keep yourself and your loved ones cool in extreme heat:
- Battery-powered fans
- Extra batteries
- Portable power station
Cover It Up
Severe weather effects reach their peak around hurricane season. One of the biggest factors are high winds, which cause major damage to your AC by blowing dirt and debris into the condenser unit. Dust and other organic matter like grass and sand will pack into the aluminum fins of the condenser coil. This stops adequate airflow and causes the HVAC system to struggle to perform.
Although in many cases the fins can be cleaned, many times heavier debris will bend and dent the delicate metal. If combing the fins doesn’t work, the entire condenser coil will need to be replaced.
The only way to prevent this is to cover it up.
Any tarp is better than no tarp, but a weatherproof tarp specifically made for outdoor HVAC units is your best bet. During high winds and hurricane-force winds, a tarp will block out particles and defend the delicate internal parts from harm.
If they aren’t stopped, all those tiny particles will wreak havoc on your HVAC system. This is an unnecessary repair that can be easily avoided by taking a few additional steps before a storm.
Lift It Up
If you live in an area prone to flooding, you should consider raising the level of your condenser unit with a hurricane pad. This is a specially made concrete slab designed to lift an outdoor HVAC unit off the ground and protect it from high water levels.
If your HVAC system has already been installed on a hurricane pad, then you’re in luck! But if not, you may need help to install one. Contact Action Air Conditioning for free advice and a free quote today.
Tie It Down
Check if your outdoor unit is well secured. If it isn’t attached to a concrete slab and held down tight, you will want to tie it down.
High winds can easily shift, push, or pick up an HVAC system and toss it nearby. Not only will your unit be destroyed, but people, animals, or property could be hurt in the process.
Clear the Way
Preventing your HVAC from being moved by hurricane-force winds is only half the battle. You also have to consider what is nearby that can be picked up and thrown at your HVAC system.
Remove any small to large objects on your property that can become airborne. This includes:
- Gardening tools
- Patio furniture
- Lawn decorations
Secure anything you don’t plan to move, and keep it at a safe distance from your HVAC system.
Has Your HVAC System Suffered from Severe Weather Effects?
If your HVAC system was damaged by a severe storm or hurricane, Action Air Conditioning is here to help! Even when you try your best to protect your HVAC system from severe weather effects, sometimes, the worst still happens. Maybe a tree limb fell on your system or the floodwaters rose too high.
You can’t always prevent the devastation which comes from a hurricane in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, but you can count on the experts at Action Air Conditioning to repair or replace your cooling system.