Protect Your Air Conditioner During Hurricanes

Hurricane Matthew Above Florida

Summertime in Trinity and Odessa means that residents prepare for the three H’s: heat, humidity, and hurricanes. There is plenty of information out there to help you and your family prepare for a hurricane. Do you know how to protect your air conditioner during hurricanes or tropical storms?  It only takes one major storm to cause significant problems. Be prepared for anything mother nature throws your way.

During a hurricane, strong winds take a toll on HVAC equipment. While the typical residential condensing unit weighs between 150 and 200 pounds, it can still be easily misaligned from its position on the rooftop or ground pad. After a hurricane, it is common to see displacement equipment ranging from minor shifts to those that are completely blown over.

Fortunately, in hurricane-prone areas such as Florida, building code regulations often require that all outdoor mechanical equipment exposed to wind be able to withstand wind pressures, or be securely fastened to the ground/rooftop (Florida Building Code, Mechanical Sec 301.15).

What to do to protect your air conditioner during hurricanes

Prevention Before the Storm

  1. Install your unit on an approved concrete pad and secured with hurricane straps. Use hurricane straps that are required by building codes and to prevent the unit from blowing away in high winds.
  2. Install a surge protector for your AC unit so that power surges from the storms don’t destroy its wiring and components.
  3. Turn the AC system off and cover the unit to protect it from flying objects and debris.

Assessment After the Storm

  1. Look for signs that the air conditioner was under water at any time during the storm. If you think flooding has occurred, contact us at 813-929-HAWK to ensure your unit is in proper working order. Do not try to turn the unit on.
  2. Remove the tarp or cover and inspect for any signs of damage.
  3. Remove any debris that may have lodged around the unit.
  4. Look for damage to the electrical or refrigerant lines. Do not turn the unit on until it has been inspected by a trained technician if you suspect damage.

If you have questions or concerns about how to protect your air conditioner during hurricanes, contact us at 813-929-HAWK and we will be happy to inspect your unit.

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