According to the AOML (Atlantic Oceanographic & Meteorological Laboratory) we are in the most active part of the hurricane season – 96% of the "major" hurricanes occur from August to October.
With Hurricane Irene threatening the East Coast, locals are bracing for the storm. Being prepared for a hurricane can keep you and your family safe and comfortable during the storm and will help save time and money in the aftermath. Getting your home’s air conditioning system ready for hurricane season is a critical part of being prepared.
Your air conditioning system is a key contributor to your overall home comfort and one of most expensive investments, after your home. It’s important to make sure it weathers the storm, not only for you and your family’s comfort, but also to your pocketbook.
Below are some important steps to take in order to prepare an air conditioning system for hurricanes or extreme weather and some precautions to take in the aftermath of a storm.
• Turn off your air conditioning system. Make sure your entire system is turned off, at the thermostat and the circuit breaker. This will help avoid any unnecessary damage. Power to your air conditioner can be a fire hazard or cause electrical shock, in the event of flooding.
• Batten down the hatches! Securing your equipment is one of the most important steps you can take. The hardware holding your air conditioning unit in place can rust or come loose over time, and loose equipment can move and cause significant damage. Make sure to use hurricane straps or bolts to secure your system to the base.
• Eliminate loose items near or around the air conditioning unit. Remove any items near the outside of the air conditioning unit that might become airborne and cause impact damage to the unit such as patio furniture, plants, toys, and bikes.
• Flooded air conditioners. If you live in an area that flooded, make sure conditions are dry before you try to operate your air conditioner. NEVER restore power to the system until you know you are completely safe to do so. It’s best to have a professional technician do a thorough inspection to determine if it is safe to operate.
• Impact damage or debris. Before turning the air conditioner back on, check it for damage or debris around that could cause it to malfunction or overheat. If you are unsure, have a professional technician check your system.
• Salt water damage. Salt water has a corrosive affect on air conditioning systems, if not addressed immediately it can destroy your system over time. A professional technician will know how to gently clean the affects of salt water from your equipment.
These simple steps can be the difference between major and minor repairs and being prepared for severe weather can lessen the aftermath in terms of reduced home comfort as well. If your air conditioning system is compromised in any way after a storm, make sure to contact a professional technician. They will ensure the safety of you and your home.