July 25, 2012 – Tinton Falls, NJ –Hurricane season in the Atlantic began June 1st and ends November 30; and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) is predicting a near-normal hurricane season of between nine and 15 named storms.  The first hurricane of 2012 formed in mid-June, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and peak hurricane season is August to October.  A.J. Perri, the leading heating, cooling and plumbing company in central New Jersey, wants homeowners to be ready for anything this season may bring.

“While ensuring your family’s safety is the first priority, securing property should be the second. Many people neglect to secure their outdoor air conditioning unit when preparing their home for a storm. This can be one of the most expensive things to replace if it’s damaged,” states Kevin Perri, Vice President of A.J. Perri

There are five major hazards associated with hurricanes:  storm surge and storm tide, heavy rainfall and flooding, high winds, rip currents, and tornadoes.  With the exception of rip currents, any of these may damage an unprotected outdoor unit.

When a hurricane is predicted, as part of your preparations:

  •  Turn off your air conditioning system both at the circuit breaker and the thermostat to avoid the chance of power surges that may be a fire hazard or shock hazards due to flooding.
  •  Use hurricane straps to secure your equipment.  Check that any bolts that secure your system to the base are secure and not rusty. If the unit moves, it can cause serious damage.
  •  Clear the area around your air conditioner.  Most people move all loose objects, such as furniture, plants, and toys indoors, but it’s especially important to put anything away that may act as a projectile in high winds and damage the unit.

After the storm has passed, ensure that the unit has not sustained any damage before you attempt to turn it on.  “If you suspect any damage, have a professional technician inspect the unit to ensure it’s safe to operate,” says Perri. The types of damage an air conditioner may sustain during any major storm include:

  •  Impact damage. If there is any debris around your unit that may have hit it, or if there is any visible damage that was not present before the hurricane, have it inspected before restoring power.
  •  Movement.  If your air conditioner has moved at all, it may be unsafe to operate due to loose wiring.
  •  Flooding. If any flooding occurred during the hurricane, there is a risk of electrical shock when you turn your air conditioner on.
  •  Salt water damage.  If any salt water came into contact with your system, it can have long-term corrosive effects. Have it cleaned by a professional immediately.

As part of every family’s hurricane preparations, ensuring that property is safe is paramount.  Since it is outdoors, securing an air conditioning unit should be a top priority. Doing so may save you thousands of dollars and can help get your home comfortable as soon as possible after the storm.

For more information on hurricane readiness, visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

A.J. Perri
A.J. Perri is a family-owned business dedicated to providing total home comfort for their New Jersey neighbors. Based in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, they have over 46 years of experience in the heating and air conditioning, and plumbing industry. They service those in Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer, Middlesex, Union, Essex, and Morris counties.