As of July 1, The National Ocean Atmospheric Association released its 2023 Atlantic hurricane season predicting 12-17 storms this year, which runs until Nov. 1, including 5-9 hurricanes and 1-4 category 3+ storms in the forecast.
Florida homeowners know that preparation is key to safeguarding their property. While most of us focus on securing doors, and windows, and stocking up on essentials, one critical aspect that often goes overlooked is protecting your air conditioning system. Your HVAC unit is a significant investment, and ensuring it survives a hurricane intact can save you from costly repairs or replacements.
Here are some essential tips on protecting your AC during a hurricane.
Shut Off the Power: Before the hurricane hits, it’s crucial to shut off the power to your HVAC system. This can prevent electrical surges or damage caused by power fluctuations during the storm. Locate your AC unit’s circuit breaker and turn it off.
Anchor Outdoor Components: The outdoor components of your HVAC system, such as the condenser unit, are vulnerable to high winds and debris. Anchor these units securely to the ground using hurricane straps or brackets. If possible, covering them with a tarp or protective cover can offer additional protection.
Clear the Area: Remove any loose objects or debris from around your HVAC unit. High winds can turn even small items into projectiles that can damage your AC system. Trim overhanging branches or nearby trees that could fall onto your unit.
Elevate Your Unit: If your property is prone to flooding, consider elevating your outdoor unit on a sturdy platform. This can help prevent water damage during heavy rains and flooding.
Install Surge Protection: Invest in surge protectors or lightning arresters for your HVAC system. These devices can safeguard your unit from electrical surges caused by lightning strikes during the storm.
Turn Off the Gas: If your HVAC system uses natural gas, it’s a good idea to turn off the gas supply during a hurricane. Gas leaks can be dangerous and are best avoided.
Post-Hurricane Inspection: After the storm has passed, don’t immediately turn your AC back on. Inspect it for damage, including any visible debris or water damage. If you’re unsure, it’s wise to have a professional HVAC technician assess your system.
Regular Maintenance: Lastly, staying proactive with regular HVAC maintenance throughout the year can help ensure your system is in optimal condition before hurricane season arrives. Regular maintenance can also identify potential issues that might worsen during a storm.
By taking these precautions, you can help protect your AC system during a hurricane and ensure it continues to provide comfort when you need it most. Remember, when in doubt, consult with your professionals at American Air & Plumbing who can offer expert guidance on securing and inspecting your system.
Don’t let a hurricane catch you unprepared—protect your home and your investments.