Us Texans are in the thick of it this August. It’s peak hurricane season and our eyes are on the tropics. There are plenty of things to do to prepare for incoming storms: stock up on water, sandbags, and food. However, there’s one thing that may not be in the forefront of your mind when prepping for a hurricane: your air conditioner.
There’s a lot that you can do to ensure that your HVAC system comes out the other end unscathed by a severe storm or hurricane.
Don’t fall behind on maintenance
A healthy machine will brave a storm much better than an unhealthy one. Keeping up with regular HVAC maintenance is always important, but when looking to brave a storm, make sure to have a professional come take a look and perform supplementary maintenance on your unit to ensure its health through the storm.
Here at Tri-Point, we recommend setting up a regular maintenance plan with us to keep your machine running smoothly. If you’re not already signed up with us, prepping for hurricane season is the best place to start!
Before the storm
If you get the news that a storm is on its way, you’ve usually got a little time to prepare. On these crucial days, there’s plenty you can do to protect your AC unit from damage:
- Cover it with a tarp. Although rain won’t destroy your unit, hurricane-force winds, downpours, and debris lodged in the machine can cause extensive damage. Slapping a tarp over the outside unit is an easy and effective way to reduce the chance of damage.
- A concrete slab. Hopefully, your outdoor unit is already sitting on a concrete slab. If it’s not, and if time allows, pour a concrete slab for your unit to sit on top of. Outdoor units should ideally already be on one to ensure that it has a solid foundation, but a slab can also protect your unit from flood waters.
- Tie it down. Texas building codes require tie-downs for AC units, although specifications can vary depending on your geographical location–rules may differ for those on the coast versus those who live inland. Regardless, installing tie-downs on your AC unit is an easy way to give your unit a bit more protection.
- Clean up your yard. Making sure that anything that can become a projectile (chairs, tables, potted plants) is safely stored away can save your windows and your AC from damage.
- Cool down your home. If you’re on the coast, it’s very likely that you will end up losing power if the storm is strong enough. Cool down your home to a bit cooler than normal in the hours before the storm. This way, if you do lose power, you can still be comfortable for a bit longer.
During the storm
As we weather through a hurricane, power outages and frequent power surges are nothing new. However, these can truly prove damaging to your HVAC system. Frequent surges of electricity can overwhelm your unit and cause damage.
The best thing to do when you’re in the thick of it is to shut off your cooling system entirely and switch to more local ways to cool yourself off. Turn on ceiling fans and get the box fans rolling–your air conditioner will thank you!
After the storm
Once the worst has passed and it’s safe to venture out again, make sure to take a look at your HVAC system before turning it on again. If your unit has sustained any damage during the storm, turning it on could make it much worse and cost you more money in repairs.
Check out your outside unit and clean up around it. Make sure there’s no debris lodged in the machine, and don’t attempt to turn it on if you notice that it’s sitting in standing water. Of course, if you’re not sure or uncomfortable turning on your AC, call a professional to inspect it before making a decision.
Whether you’re looking to weather-proof your AC or need a professional to give you the go-ahead to ignite your unit after a bad storm, don’t hesitate in giving us a call here at Tri-Point Refrigeration. We’re happy to hear from you and are excited to help you along the way.
For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.
Or check out our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com