Hurricanes and tropical storms are already brewing in the Atlantic. And while most of us here on the Space Coast are used to stocking up on food, water, batteries, sandbags, and plywood before a storm hits, our HVAC systems are often ignored in the rush to fill our pantries and gas tanks. Here’s what you need to know to prepare your HVAC for hurricane season.
Residential and commercial outdoor AC compressors are generally built to withstand normal weather patterns. They can handle the typical rain or heat that comes with our Florida climate. However, hurricanes are another beast altogether.
Hurricanes bring with them sustained high winds and high levels of precipitation. While wind alone is unlikely to harm your unit, the debris it propels can do serious damage, as can too much rainfall. Strong winds can transform tree limbs, outdoor furniture, and other items left outside into projectiles which can potentially damage the coils or fins on your outdoor AC compressor. Flooding around your outdoor compressor can also cause damage.
With any strong storm, it’s important to secure furniture and other backyard items that can be knocked over or blown about by the wind. If possible, patio furniture and umbrellas should be brought into a garage or other indoor space.
If you have any trees or shrubs in your backyard, check for dead or broken limbs and trim them back. This may help reduce the amount of debris created by the oncoming storm. Also, check around your compressor for any items that could block proper drainage to reduce the chance of flooding.
While you’re picking up plywood for your windows, grab some for your outdoor AC compressor, too, or purchase a tarp and some hurricane straps.
Before the storm hits, turn off your AC unit. You never want to run your AC unit when it is covered because it restricts air flow and can actually damage the compressor. If it’s still hot out, consider using fans or ceiling fans to circulate the air inside. Securely enclose or wrap your outdoor unit to reduce potential damage from debris and rainfall.
Once the storm has passed, remove any coverings and check your AC unit for damage. If it looks good, feel free to turn your AC back on. If there is damage to your unit, call a reputable Brevard County HVAC repair company.
If at any time during a storm or hurricane you notice flooding around your AC compressor, turn off the unit if it isn’t already off, and then turn off the power to the unit at your electrical panel. This may help prevent further damage to your unit. Never use a unit that is in a flooded area!
Even if you choose to not cover your unit, it is important to monitor it during the storm and to turn it off if you spot any damage or flooding. This can help you minimize the damage.
If you think your HVAC has been damaged by a storm or are just having HVAC issues in general, call Page Air, Inc. for quick, reliable service. With years of experience helping Space Coasts residents and business owners, Page Air, Inc. has built a strong reputation for customer-oriented service.
Page Air, Inc. offers 24-hour emergency service to Brevard County in addition to regular service hours. We understand that life without AC can be hard—and sweaty—and we’re here to help when you need us! Contact us today to schedule your HVAC repair or maintenance.