Preparing for hurricane season may require you to stock up on nonperishable foods and secure any windows and doors that lead outside. Homeowners should also not forget to maintain and care for their air conditioning units during this time, as they are also susceptible to the dangers that high winds and heavy winds bring to the region. As an HVAC contractor in Orlando, we help many homeowners prepare their air conditioning for the large storms that head our way during the months May through November. These are a few of the things you should know about preparing and handling your air conditioner during hurricane season.
One of the first and most important things to do that will protect your exterior air conditioning unit is to secure it to the ground. This will prevent the unit from moving around or being blown away by the heavy winds that hurricanes bring. Many Florida homeowners will use cages around their units to provide extra security. It is recommended to avoid covering the unit with a tarp or heavy blanket, as this can overheat the machine and cause worse issues.
Because hurricanes are common in this region, many people opt to raise or elevate their AC units from the ground. In fact, this is required in certain areas of the state, like Tampa Bay. Because of the possibility of storm surges during hurricanes, many people want to avoid the dangers and destruction of flooding. Raising your unit will prevent any water of flooding issues, which can destroy the entire unit if severe enough.
Take the time to walk around the perimeter of your house and clean up and debris or loose objects that are closely located to your air conditioner. Hurricanes bring heavy winds that can stir up loose objects, and these can damage nearby devices and structures. Secure everything from patio furniture to lawn ornaments to landscaping decorations so that they, too, will stay safe during the storm.
Before a storm is set to pass through your area, you should prepare by cooling down your house more than usual. This will help your home stay cool when you turn off the AC, which is recommended during storms. It is also recommended to shut your blinds, close your windows, and shut all doors to retain the cool air in your home.
If you choose to stay home and shelter in place during the storm, you will want to turn your AC unit off. Also, you should unplug the unit from your circuit breaker to provide extra protection. Hurricanes can cause power surges, which can then damage any of the electronics that are plugged into the power source. Prevent this from happening by ensuring that it is both turned off and unplugged during the storm.
After the hurricane has passed, take the time to inspect your AC unit before you turn it back on. Check the inside of the unit for any debris or disconnected wires. Also, if any flooded water is around or inside your unit, you want to avoid turning it on until all water is safely removed from the technology. If you notice any damages, it is important to document these issues by taking pictures if you need to file an insurance claim. When you notice that something looks out of place, contact a local HVAC contractor in Orlando to come out for an inspection.
One of the best ways to prevent any further damages from occurring is by getting routine inspections. HVAC contractors in Orlando can come out to your home to inspect that your unit and system is fully functioning. This can prevent you from making any costly assumptions that your unit is fine when there are hidden issues with wiring or exposure to water from the storm. We can also inspect areas that many homeowners do not know to look at, like the internal structure and the technology of the machine, to make the fix needed to avoid any more damage.
In case your AC unit or system becomes damaged during the storm, you will want to have a way to get relief from the extreme heat in Florida. Renting a portable AC unit is helpful when you are concerned about this issue. Although this rental will only be temporary, these devices can provide relief when you may need it most. Typically, portable air conditioners work quickly and efficiently to cool down the area within minutes. When you need to turn your air conditioning off to weather the storm at home, you will be happy that you have this safe device inside your home.
Taking the right steps to secure and prepare your air conditioning for hurricanes can spare you from having to replace any damaged units after a storm. When you feel as though something is wrong with your unit, you will want the professionals to look. If you have existing damage before the hurricane, any further damage may cause your AC to need a complete replacement.
These are a few of things you should know about how to handle your air conditioner before and during hurricane season. When you are more prepared for the storms to come, you can trust that your unit will be protected and secured during times of heavy winds. If you are curious how to prepare your unit or you are suspicious that your unit has been damaged during the hurricane, contact our HVAC contractor in Orlando to schedule an inspection today.