As hurricane season approaches, most of us begin to revise our running checklist of standard preparations. Supplies like water bottles, flashlights, and non-perishable foods are relatively easy to stock up on year-round. Once storms begin to appear on weather radars, Florida residents start bringing out the big guns: sand bags, wooden window boards, and generators are usually go-to items on hurricane prep checklists. As we prepare to take care of our properties during hurricane season, it’s crucial to consider the electrical components of our homes. That’s why we’ve compiled our HVAC hurricane checklist, prepared specifically to help you – and your air conditioner – make it through hurricane season safely. For our top tips on keeping yourself and your air conditioning system safe and dry during Florida’s notorious stormy season, keep reading.
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Secure your AC unit

Though this is a no-brainer for those who have outdoor AC units, even indoor units can benefit tremendously from being strapped down and secured during a major storm. This is especially true if your unit is on the older side, since the parts intended to stabilize your HVAC system are susceptible to weakening over time. Just to be on the safe side, our HVAC hurricane checklist includes checking all hatches and bolts – and strapping your unit down if necessary.
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Remove all loose structures

Storage space is something that very few people let go to waste, so chances are that your indoor unit isn’t alone in its enclosing or closet, however small it may be. As you gear up for a hurricane, make sure that anything else that is stored with your AC unit is bolted, tied down, or otherwise secured.
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Be cool(er) and shut it down

If a strong storm or hurricane is coming your way, chances are you’ll lose power for at least a little while. In the hours before the storm hits, set your home’s thermostat several degrees lower than you usually do in order to lower the temperature as much as possible. Then, when the storm is about to hit, shut down your air conditioner entirely.

This is a recommended step for a few reasons: cooling down your home prior to the storm’s arrival will maximize your comfort once the AC is off. Shutting it off in the first place will reduce the chances of permanent damage due to power surges following a power outing or flood. The storm itself should keep temperatures from getting unbearable, and you will have potentially saved yourself hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in surge-related damage afterwards.

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Check for damage - call a pro

Speaking of repairs: even if you do take all of the precautions outlined in our HVAC hurricane checklist, it’s important that your unit be inspected for damages following a major storm. You yourself can check for dents and flooding, and we recommend scheduling a professional maintenance visit for a more thorough inspection before you get your air conditioner up and running again. A professional inspection holds two big benefits for you: it prevents further electrical damage to your unit if something did go awry during the storm, and it prevents injuries caused by handling unstable electrical parts.
Though they’re easy to take for granted, our HVAC systems are among the hardest-working appliances in our homes – and, as a result, they need some care leading up to a major storm. By looking over this HVAC hurricane checklist, you’ll be prepared to face hurricane season more prepared and cooler than ever. For more information about generator maintenance or to learn more about our services, click here.