How To Protect Your A/C From Storm Damage
After the sudden storm we had recently, many of our customers have been asking what can be done to protect their A/C from being damaged.
Just before the storm begins, you may be focused on stocking up food, making sure you have candles or preparing to go to a storm shelter. In the midst of all this, don’t forget you have important equipment to protect. Here are 5 tips for keeping your air conditioner safe during a storm:
Turn off your AC
Electrical surges are common when lightning hits and you don’t want your air conditioner’s electrical components destroyed (and you certainly don’t want a fire to start!)
Make sure your AC is off before the storm hits. If the weather is particularly hot, you can run it until the sky darkens (lightning might be flashing before the rains come so don’t wait that long). Then make sure you remember to turn it off.
Exposed components can be damaged from flying debris. Use a tarp, or board to cover your unit and protect it from anything that the wind throws at it. Protect your refrigerant piping from damage since leaking refrigerant is hazardous to both you and the environment.
Make sure your cover is secure so it doesn’t turn into debris itself to cause damage elsewhere. And after the storm passes, remove the covering before starting up your unit.
Clean up your yard
Before the storm hits, pack away outdoor furniture, toys, your barbecue pit and anything else that’s not tied down. Clean up branches that might have fallen and inspect and remove anything else that could puncture your equipment. Collaborate with neighbors to clean up their yards as well. Storms have no respect for property lines!
Strap it down
If you live in a hurricane prone area, you need hurricane straps, which are specifically designed to withstand hurricane-strength winds. If your unit is newer, you might already have these straps installed. If not, don’t wait for the storm warning. Get them right away to save yourself stress and the unnecessary cost of replacement or repair.
Inspect and clean it before start-up
Once the storm has passed, do a thorough inspection of your A/C unit and refrigerant piping for damage. Clear any debris that might be covering it. As long as you’re certain that the unit is free from damage and debris, turn it on and monitor to make sure it’s working as it should.
Get professional help
If, despite your best efforts, your unit or piping has been damaged, give us a call right away. We can also help you prepare for the storms ahead and reduce your equipment’s risk.