Is your Air Conditioning System ready for Hurricane Season?
For the seventh time in a row, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts the possibility of an “above-normal” season with 14 to 21 named storms. Of these 6, to 10, are likely to turn into hurricanes (storms turn into hurricanes when the winds exceed the speed of 74 miles per hour) as well as 3 to 6 are likely to be “major” hurricanes. Storms are deemed “major” hurricanes (category 3 or greater) at the point that their sustained speeds are the speed of 111 miles per hour.
If you’re from Florida, there’s a good likelihood that you have a routine that you can break into whenever there’s an approaching hurricane in Florida. You bring in furniture for your patio as well as related “projectiles”, you stock with food and water perhaps filling the tank. You’ve got the basics, but how do you handle your air conditioning unit?
Protect your air conditioner
Protect your air conditioner prior to and after summer storms, hurricanes, and other severe weather. Follow these steps to limit the damage to your AC and return it up and running as soon as you can once the power is restored.
Elevate / Raise Your Outside AC Unit
Have you ever considered that more than thirty percent of Tampa metro residents live in a moderate or extreme risk zone for flooding? The State of Florida building code (see our latest post regarding HVAC Permits) stipulates that all new AC systems installed in flood zones be elevated to limit damage during a flood or extreme weather storms. Why wait to install the brand-new AC system? Raising your old or existing outdoor AC condenser is possible to avoid flooding or water damage.
Contact Century Air Conditioning to schedule a service call so we can assist you in raising the height of your AC condenser system securely, which is consistent with the guidelines of the Florida Building Commission and FEMA. Remember that HVAC systems are only to be raised or moved by experts. Homeowners and DIY HVAC handy persons are often guilty of making the error of causing damage to refrigerant lines during the process of elevating.
Keep Your Home Cool before the Storm
Power outages are common following severe storms hitting in Florida. To keep your home warm when the power goes out, you should turn down the thermostat to a lower temperature than usual. It is also possible to close the blinds, pull your shades and make sure that the doors and windows are shut to keep cool air inside and the hot Florida outside air.
Remove all debris from the Unit
Tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes are characterized by high winds (anywhere between 34 mph and 112 mph or more) that could cause debris and other objects to fly away and damage the AC unit. Make sure you store your furniture, garden decor, and lawn equipment in your home or garage, and trim any weak branches off branches that might break in the event of a storm. Also, take away excessive quantities of dirt, leaves, and other debris in close proximity to your outside equipment.
Turn Off Your AC System
If you choose to stay at a safe place, switch off the power supply to your AC system by turning off the circuit breaker or thermostat after the storm has commenced. Lightning can trigger electrical surges, which can harm your system. The force of the wind can cause debris to become stuck inside your Unit and ignite the motor.
Cover and Secure Your Unit
When the power has been cut off to your system, think about protecting your outdoor Unit using a tarp, weather shield, and AC covers (like that one) to prevent debris from entering. Be sure that it’s secured tightly to the ground, and if you have an air condenser located on a different story, you can secure it using hurricane ties as well. After the storm, remove your cover before turning it back on.
The storm is accompanied by lightning. It can result in an electrical surge. An outage can damage your A/C Unit. To ensure the safety of your home appliances and devices you could install a full-house surge protector. There is also the possibility that debris could be entangled in your exterior Unit, causing the engine to overheat. Make sure you shut off the electricity supply to your air conditioning. We recommend that you turn off your thermostat as well as circuit breakers.
Visually Inspect Your Unit
Don’t turn on your AC to the off position until, you’re sure. The first step is to visually inspect the inside and outside of the Unit for any debris, broken wires or pipes, and flooding water (especially in areas where storm surge poses a danger near beaches or shorelines in Florida. It is recommended to take photos of any visible physical damage to document and for insurance purposes. If you notice something that isn’t or feels right, you can call Century for an HVAC tech via Century Air Conditioning to schedule an inspection or repair for your Unit.
If you find that your air conditioners outside condenser unit are not straight after the storm, it is best to give us an appointment to avoid further destruction to your HVAC system. In the lower part of your AC compressor, you’ll want the oil to remain straight (to ensure that the motor is lubricated correctly). Alongside problems with compressors caused by tilted units on the outside, an appropriately tuned AC system lets refrigerant effortlessly move across its coils (remember Newton’s universal gravity law).
Plan an AC Tune-Up using Air Care
Even if your condenser outside the Unit appears to be in good shape following the storm, we recommend scheduling an appointment through Century Air Conditioning & Heating to do a tune-up. An AC tune-up is a low-cost service that could save you hundreds of dollars following a strong storm or hurricane.
The impact of hurricane season can be catastrophic. This is why being as prepared as possible is essential if you follow these guidelines to help ensure that your air conditioner is protected from a storm. Contacting a professional technician to assess your Unit to determine if it has suffered damage from storms is the most secure method of action. It will give you the confidence that your system is working correctly and safely. They can also help with the need to purchase a brand-new system.
About Century Air Conditioning & Heating
Century Air Conditioning & Heat was established in 1986. We’re a family owned and operated HVAC contractor in Orlando, FL. For over 36 years, we’ve been a trusted source for air conditioning equipment, heating equipment and related services. Century is an A+ BBB accredited business.
Air Conditioning & Heating Services Offered in Orlando and surrounding Central Florida Areas:
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