Hurricane season can be a nerve-wracking time for homeowners. You have an important responsibility to keep yourselves and your home as safe as possible during severe bouts of extreme weather. One thing you may worry about during an approaching hurricane is your air conditioner. Air conditioners are important and expensive to replace, so you’ll want to do as much as you can to make sure that yours is unaffected by the coming storm.
There are several things you can do before and after a hurricane to help care for your air conditioner. Those of you who remain in your home during a hurricane can also keep several simple rules in mind to keep both you and your systems at minimal risk. Below are some of our tips, as supported by FEMA guidelines. Refer to them often, and help make sure that your air conditioner is as safe as possible the next time a hurricane approaches.
Turn Your Unit Off (and Keep It That Way)
The most important thing to remember when preparing for a hurricane is that electronic devices should be powered down. Move portable electronic devices to places where water is less likely to reach them, and cords should be wrapped to keep them from dangling. If you have a central air conditioner, you won’t be able to move it. However, you can turn it off so that it will not become an electrical risk if water inundates your home.
Remove Window Air Conditioners
As stated above, portable electronic devices should be moved well out of the way of dangerous places. Take out your window air conditioners, so that they cannot become damaged by wind and rain. Moving your window air conditioners also keeps them from being able to come loose and fly through your living room or walls in high winds. However, you will have to make sure that you seal the resultant openings after you move them so that other debris cannot blow through your home.
Protect Outdoor Units
For split system ACs or heat pumps, the indoor unit isn’t the only thing you’ll have to consider. You should also take steps to protect your outdoor units with tarps or plywood, so that flying debris is less likely to damage them.
Once the Storm Hits
If you are still in your home during the storm, make sure that you do not turn on your air conditioner. In fact, your electricity should be turned off throughout your home if you decide to evacuate. After the storm has passed, be extremely careful not to turn on your power or use your air conditioner again without having a professional perform a diagnosis of your property and ensure that it is safe. Elite Comfort is currently offering free AC diagnostics checks for all homes that were flooded during Hurricane Harvey.
Understanding what to do before, during and after a hurricane can prevent your air conditioner from sustaining unnecessary damage and help keep you safe. Pay attention to the strategies outlined above, and you will be ready the next time extreme weather threatens your area. For questions or concerns about AC diagnostics or repairs please call Elite Comfort Home and Commercial Services at 832-309-3771.