The experts may be predicting a fairly quiet hurricane season this year, but that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. After all, it only takes one storm to cause major damage to your home.
If you’ve ever done it, you know that getting your home ready for a hurricane is a major undertaking. There is much to be done, and to cover it all would make this post way too long. Instead, let’s focus on one of the most frequently overlooked steps in that process: prepping your A/C system.
Before the storm hits…
Your air conditioner can easily survive a hurricane, as long as you take steps to protect it. Otherwise, you might find yourself having to replace your system after the storm has passed.
It’s critical to turn your air conditioner off during a hurricane. If you leave it on, your unit can suffer serious damage from the constant power interruptions causing it to shut off suddenly, only to switch back on as soon as the power is restored.
Before the storm hits, turn the temperature down to several degrees colder than your usual preferred indoor temperature. This way, your home is “pre-cooled” and will stay cooler for longer after you turn your A/C off.
Speaking of which, you should do that as soon as the storm gets close. This way, you will protect the compressor and other components from unnecessary strain and stress.
After the storm passes...
Once the storm has moved on, you should turn your A/C back on as soon as possible. Otherwise, if you let it sit idle for too long, that will give mold an opportunity to establish a foothold in your system and ducts. Your home - and by extension, your A/C system - has just been through a high-moisture, high-heat weather event, and as we all know, those are the exact conditions mold thrives in. But be careful - you should inspect your A/C first. If the storm has damaged your system, trying to run it can make things even worse.
Questions to ask:
- Was the A/C unit ever underwater?
- Are all lines (refrigerant and electrical) intact, or is there damage?
- Has the unit been hit by falling trees or other windblown objects?
- Can you detect and evidence of electrical smoke?
- Are the fan and vents clear of debris?
In any case, you should always consider a duct cleaning after a storm.
And keep in mind that a storm doesn’t have to be a hurricane to damage your A/C. Even if you’re only expecting a typical Florida storm that brings heavy wind and rain, you should make sure you’re protecting your air conditioner.
Easy AC has years of experience dealing with the damage tropical storms cause to air conditioners – making them experts in A/C repair and maintenance. So if you’re system is acting up after a storm, give us a call. You’ll be happy you did.