Tips to Prepare HVAC Units for Hurricanes & Stormy Weather

Hurricane season is no stranger to us here in Florida. We all probably have a checklist that we go through annually as June approaches that reminds us of the basic preparations that need to be made and what items we need to stock up on in order to survive hurricane season. One thing you may not have thought to add to that checklist is to make sure your home HVAC system is prepared for the storm. Not only does preparing your HVAC system for a storm important to help reduce the likelihood for any damage to the system, but it also helps keep you and your family safe.

Since hurricanes and large thunderstorms bring on high probabilities of power outages, the first thing we recommend doing when bad weather is heading your way is to cool your home before the storm hits. Turn your AC down a few degrees lower than you normally keep it and keep all of the blinds, doors, and windows closed as much as possible. As the storm gets closer, turn off the electricity or unplug your unit altogether in order to prevent damage through electrical surges from lightning strikes.

Another important step when preparing your AC Unit for hurricanes and stormy weather is to secure your outdoor unit by checking to make sure all of the bolts are tightened on the unit. Due to the high winds of these storms, AC units can be easily lifted. Making sure your unit is strapped down with hurricane or condenser straps is recommended to avoid this. If you feel that flooding will be a threat from the storm headed your way, it may be necessary to elevate your unit slightly higher than it normally sits to avoid water damage.

Lastly, make sure to bring in or secure any outdoor equipment that could fly away. Also, be sure to cover your AC unit with a tarp or plywood to protect it from flying debris like tree limbs, branches, or any other potentially hazardous objects in your nearby area. Remember, just because you’ve prepped your yard for a hurricane, does not mean your neighbor has.

After the storm, the main thing to remember is that you should not turn your air conditioning back on until you have assessed your AC unit for damage from high winds, water, or debris. If you have found any damage or you are unsure if there is a problem, call Benson’s Heating & Air Conditioning and we’ll be happy to come out and inspect and repair any damage to your unit!