The hurricanes that blow into Martin and Palm Beach County can quickly destroy an unprepared air conditioner. The high winds, flying debris, lightening and surging water that come along with a hurricane are all potential threats. Take a few steps to prepare your air conditioner for hurricane season, and your system has a much higher chance of survival.
While the Weather Is Calm
Before hurricane season starts, make sure your outdoor condenser unit is properly secured to its base by metal hurricane straps around the unit or tie-downs that attach to the unit’s base. This is required by many county hurricane codes.
If your outdoor unit doesn’t have straps or tie-downs in place, contact a heating and cooling technician about installing them. These straps should also be inspected regularly for signs of rust or looseness.
When a Storm Is Approaching
When you find out hurricane-force winds are approaching your area, start protecting your home and belongings by cleaning up your yard. Put away lawn furniture and tools, remove decor items that could blow around and remove or secure loose branches. Blown by strong winds, even lighter items can do serious damage.
While you’re cleaning up, if you don’t plan to evacuate, leave your air conditioner on and set to a lower thermostat temperature than usual. A chilly house won’t heat up so fast from the warm, wet air the winds will bring. Well before the storm hits, though, turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat and at the breaker. If your unit isn’t covered by hurricane straps, wrap it in a tarp or cover it with plywood and secure the covering with bungee cords.
After the storm passes, carefully check that the unit hasn’t been shifted off the base, as this movement can damage electrical and refrigerant lines. Check for dents or other damage and remove any debris caught in the fins.
For more advice on how to prepare your air conditioner for hurricane season, get in touch with us at NisAir Air Conditioning and Heating. We serve the Martin, Palm Beach and Indian River counties.