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Preparing Your Air Conditioner for Hurricane Irma

Posted on AC Maintenance, AC Tips September 5, 2017 by Jonathan Williams

The All Year Cooling family will be available to you in the case of any AC unit emergencies before and after this hurricane. Call us at 888-204-5554 for immediate service!

South Floridians know a thing or two about hurricanes. However, one thing they may not consider is making sure your air conditioner is ready for those hurricane forces. Many residents only think about the sandbags for their doorways or shuttering their windows, but preparing your A/C unit is just as important. During a severe storm, your system is vulnerable to:

  • Interior and exterior unit damage
  • Fire damage
  • Electrical shock

Now categorized as a Level 5 hurricane, Irma is coming in full force and it’s important to take safety precautions and stock up on supplies. As South Floridians, we are all acquainted with the basic hurricane preparations like putting up your shutters and taking in patio furniture to ensure safety but you can’t forget about your air conditioning unit.

Basic Supplies Kit

  • Water
  • Food – canned and nonperishable
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Back-up phone chargers

Once you have your basic supplies kit, you can focus on protecting your home’s unit. In order to avoid vulnerabilities and properly prepare your AC unit for a hurricane, it is important to do the following:

Before the Storm AC Prep

  • Cool your home before the storm hits. If you set your AC to a few degrees colder and close the blinds, you can conserve the cool air just in case you lose power.
  • Turn off the air conditioning system (if you have a wall unit, unplug it entirely) in order to prevent a power surge that can lead to a fire hazard.
  • Clean the area around the unit. This includes loose objects that could fly into the unit causing exterior damage.
  • Secure your outdoor air conditioner with hurricane straps and a tarp to prevent rain or debris from entering the unit that can cause electrical shock or general unit damage.

During a Hurricane

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed. This preserves food and beverages for a short while.
  • Turn off propane tanks.
  • Use the phone for emergencies only.
  • Moor your boat if time permits.
  • Keep a supply of water for sanitary purpose. Fill the bathtub and large containers with water.
  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors and secure exterior doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Avoid elevators.

Evacuation is essential if under the following conditions:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter is particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

After the Storm

  • Investigate the area, check to see if any noticeable damage has been done to the unit. If you do notice damage has been done, it is important to have it checked out by one of our HVAC professionals to ensure that it is safe to operate.
  • Check for flooding. If any flooding occurred during the hurricane there is a risk of electrical shock when your air conditioning unit it turned on.
  • Assess for any movement of the unit; if your air conditioning unit has moved at all it may be unsafe to operate due to loose plumbing or wiring.

If any of these issues arise after a severe storm, like a hurricane, don’t hesitate to call us and we’ll be sure to get your air conditioning up and running as soon as possible!

 

Posted: August 28, 2016 | Revised: September 5, 2017

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