How to Best Prepare Your Home's A/C For a Hurricane

How to Prepare Your A/C For a Hurricane

Hurricane season is a stressful time to be a homeowner, as it is your job to protect your home during extreme weather conditions such as torrential rains and high winds. August 17th, 2018 marks one year since the three-week devastation of Hurricane Harvey, and homeowners feel more pressure than ever to ensure their homes are ready for anything mother nature may throw their way.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do before and after a hurricane to care for your air conditioning unit. Especially if you choose not to evacuate, and instead wait out the storm in your home, there are several tips to keep in mind to ensure you and your air conditioner are at minimal risk. We have included some of our simple guidelines—supported by FEMA—to help you know how to prepare your air conditioner for a hurricane. Follow these simple guidelines and so if we are hit by a storm as large as Hurricane Harvey again, you and your things will be protected.

hurricaneTurn Off Your Unit

When preparing for severe weather like a hurricane, it is important to remember to turn off electronics to avoid electrocution—that includes your air conditioner. Move any portable electronics to places where water is less likely to reach (such as a second or third floor), and wrap cords to keep them from dangling. A central air conditioner wont be able to be moved, but powering it off can ensure it will not become an electrical risk during any flooding.

Remove Window A/C Units

As previously mentioned, portable electronics should be moved away from areas that could potentially become wet or flooded. Remove your window air conditioners so they will not be damaged by wind or rain. Moving your window units will also ensure that they will not become loose and fly through your walls or living room in severe winds. Keep in mind you will also need to reseal the openings after you remove the units so other debris cannot blow into your house.

Protect Your Outdoor Units

If you have a split system A/C or a heat pump, you’ll not only have to consider the inside, but the outside as well. Like preparing your windows for a hurricane, you should protect your outdoor units with tarp or plywood to keep debris and rain from damaging them.

During the Storm

As we saw with Hurricane Harvery, sometimes the only option in a deadly storm is to evacuate your home. If you decide to travel inland, ensure that the electricity to your home is completely turned off. If you don’t know how to shut the electricity off, you can contact your power company and they will walk you through it. Once you’ve returned and the storm has completely passed, be sure to not turn the electricity back on until a professional has diagnosed your property and has confirmed it is safe to do so.

If you are staying in your home to wait out the storm, turn your air conditioning unit off right away, and keep it that way. Do not turn it back on until you are sure it is safe to do so.

Knowing what to do before, during, and after a large storm such as Hurricane Harvey, can prevent your air conditioning unit from sustaining major damage. Having a hurricane game plan can also keep you and your loved ones safe from electrocution. Remember the strategies we listed above, so you can be ready the next time severe weather hits. Contact Elite Comfort Home and Commercial Services at 832-786-7060 with any questions or concerns regarding A/C diagnostics.

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