Hurricane season is upon us! While you can’t control the weather, you can certainly take steps to protect your air conditioner from a hurricane. Let’s take a look at everything you can do to make sure your AC unit is safe and sound and capable of keeping you comfortable through the summer months once the storm has passed.
Those of us who call New Orleans, or any of its surrounding communities, home know that preparation is the key to a safe hurricane season and a comfortable summer. Scheduling an air conditioner tune-up with a trained professional is the first — and best — thing you can do to protect your AC unit from a hurricane.
Regular maintenance helps reduce wear and tear while ensuring your system is ready to tackle anything Mother Nature throws at it, whether that be extreme heat, rain, high winds, or even an unexpected tree branch. If your air conditioner is in good shape, it’s more likely to make it through a fierce storm unscathed.
How else can you protect your air conditioner from a hurricane? Consider installing a surge protector. Power outages are a common occurrence at this time of the year, and without the proper precautions, the power surge could fry your air conditioning system. With a surge protector, you can have peace of mind that all your electronics and large household appliances are safe.
Before the Storm
Has the National Weather Service announced a tropical storm is making landfall soon? It’s time to start protecting your outdoor AC unit from a hurricane.
First, clean up your yard. Remove all objects near the AC unit and bring your patio furniture, toys, and tools indoors if possible. Otherwise, make sure all your outdoor equipment is secure so it doesn’t become an unidentified flying object during the storm. Finish prepping the yard by trimming any shrubbery or low-hanging tree branches that could snap.
While you’re doing some last-minute but completely necessary yard work, make sure the air conditioner is running on full blast inside your house. In fact, it’s a good idea to turn down the thermostat by a few degrees. You want the place to be as cool as possible, so when your air conditioner is turned off, you can be comfortable through the storm. Be sure to weatherstrip your windows and doors beforehand, so none of the cool air escapes when you need it most.
Finally, prepare a protective covering for your outdoor AC unit. Most people choose between a tarp or plywood. A tarp protects against excessive water collecting in the condenser, whereas plywood keeps projectile debris from hitting your unit. You can use both for extra security during a hurricane.
Turn off the air conditioner before covering it, and never run your air conditioner if the outdoor unit is covered with a tarp or plywood.
During the Storm
If you took all the necessary precautions, you’ll have little to worry about protecting your air conditioner during a hurricane. Instead, take shelter and watch the news for the latest updates on the storm. Stay alert for lightning strikes, high winds, and flash floods.
After the Storm
You don’t want to protect your air conditioner only during a hurricane — but after as well! Once the storm has passed, it’s paramount to check the system for damage before turning it back on.
Perform a visual inspection of the outdoor unit and check the following:
- Is there standing water around the unit? Some water around the air conditioner is fine, but if the unit is submerged, wait until the water has dissipated before running the system.
- Do you see debris in or around the unit? Carefully clean off any dirt, leaves, or debris that may have ended up in the unit during the storm.
- Has the unit been hit by tree branches or other windblown objects? Dents or other signs of visible exterior damage could indicate certain interior components are also broken and not functioning properly.
- Are the electrical and refrigerant lines intact, as far as you can see? If not, get on the phone with a professional from Keefe’s.
Don’t skip this step! Running a damaged air conditioner could result in a total breakdown of the system, and the only fix will be to call an expert for an AC replacement.
Call Keefe’s for Fast Relief!
Whether you didn’t have time to take all the necessary precautions to protect your outdoor AC unit or the hurricane was worse than anticipated, don’t worry if you’re dealing with a damaged air conditioner. Our team at Keefe’s is familiar with all makes and models of AC systems, and we can offer quick repairs to restore your home comfort. Contact us to schedule an air conditioner repair in New Orleans and the surrounding areas!