11 Ways To Protect Your AC From A Hurricane

11 Ways To Protect Your AC From A Hurricane

Below are 11 Ways to Protect Your AC from A Hurricane. Sunset Air and Home Services wants to help everyone stay safe by being prepared.

hurricane tracker - southwest florida

Hurricane season in Southwest Florida runs from June 1st through November 30th. September is the most active month, so now is the time to prepare.

1 – Act Now Before the Storm Hits

The time to prepare for a hurricane is now. Gathering supplies and finishing projects is always easier before the storm is approaching.

empty store shelves - southwest florida - 300 x 165

Learning what needs to be done ahead of time is half the battle. Additionally, making a list insures nothing is forgotten.

2 – Disconnect Electricity from AC Unit

If you are in the path of a hurricane you will likely lose power. Therefore, we recommend disconnecting power to your AC Unit ahead of time.

Breaker Box - AC Disconnect - southwest florida - 300 x 289

Lighting strikes, and damage to transformers can send voltage spikes throughout the grid. Turning off breakers will help isolate equipment from these spikes, avoiding damage to your AC Unit.

3 – Do Not Wrap the Outdoor Condenser Unit

We do not recommend wrapping the Outdoor AC Condenser Unit in plastic or tarp for two reasons…

AC Covered In Tarp - southwest florida - 300 x 301

  • One, the wrapping material could come lose, damaging the unit as it oscillates in the 75+ mph winds.
  • Two, the wrapping material could act as a sail, and aid in tearing the unit from its base.

4 – Remove Window AC Units

The mounting system for Window AC Units are not designed to stand up to hurricane strength winds. For this reason, Window AC Units should be removed before the storm arrives.

After removing the window AC Unit, the window should be closed, and locked shut. As a result, your home will be better protected from wind and water damage.

5 – Prepare a Backup Generator

After the storm, it is not uncommon to be without power for a few days. If you are someone who needs to have air conditioning for medical reasons, a back-up generator is a must have item.

emergency generator - southwest florida - 300 x 165

Running the generator before the storm arrives will help insure it will work later, when needed. Additionally, having extra fuel on hand is also a good idea.

6 – Secure Your Homes Outdoor Area & Pickup Loose Items

Hurricane force winds can turn everyday yard items into damaging projectiles. Your AC’s Outdoor Condensing Unit is susceptible to damage from flying objects.

Clean Up Yard Debris - southwest florida - 300 x 165

For this reason, it is a good practice to bring potted plants, lawn furniture, trash cans, and the like, indoors.

7 – Tree and Plant Trimming

Hurricane force winds can also turn tree branches into battering rams. Therefore, cutting branches, and trimming plants back away from AC Equipment is always recommended.

Trim Plants Around Condenser - southwest florida - 300 x 165

Keeping plants away from the AC Condenser will also improve air flow, increasing efficiency year-round.

8 – Watch for Rising Tides and Standing Water

AC Condenser Units are made to stand up to outdoor conditions. However, they are not designed to sit in standing water.

Flooded Air Conditioner - AC Installation

Most AC Installations only need a 4-inch concrete pad to accomplish this. Flood prone areas will need to make special arrangements to keep the AC Condenser above the flood line.

9 – Secure the AC Unit

Securing the Outdoor Condensing Unit to the concrete pad is a code requirement. This is accomplished by attaching approved metal straps to both the AC Equipment, and concrete pad below it.

Hurricane Straps On Condenser - southwest florida - 300 x 165

The AC Condenser could be ripped away from the home and possibly become a projectile. Avoid AC System damage and liability by having your AC Condenser securely anchored.

10 – Do Not Turn Your AC Unit on After the Storm

After the storm, visually inspect the Outdoor AC Condenser Unit before turning the system on. First, make certain the equipment is not submerged. If it is sitting in standing water, do not turn the unit on. Instead, call us to avoid system damage, and warranty issues.

Hurricane Damaged Condenser - southwest florida - 300 x 165

Next. look for branches or other objects that may be restricting the fans movement. Failure to perform this important check could cause extensive damage your AC System.

11 – Ask an AC Professional to Inspect & Repair Your AC Unit

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If in doubt, it is best to call us to perform a post-storm inspection for you.

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