HVAC systems are built to withstand our typical Florida weather conditions. However, from June to November each year, the hurricane season brings storms that result in nasty sustained winds, flying debris, and flooding.
These conditions can damage your HVAC unit if you’re not ready, but our easy-to-follow Comfort Temp tips help you know what to do to protect it before, during, and after a hurricane.
Before the Storm
One of the first steps for protecting your HVAC before hurricane season begins is to have regular inspections and preventative maintenance scheduled. This ensures any needed repairs are made before storms arrive. Our Comfort Temp technicians should inspect your unit at least once annually to ensure that your HVAC runs optimally before a hurricane comes your way.
Trim and Discard
Once a hurricane is expected to hit your area, check your landscape for broken or dying limbs and branches. Remove them and haul them away – don’t just put them in a pile on your property, as they can scatter and propel dangerously during the storm’s strong winds.
Next, relocate all unsecured patio furniture, grills, removable window awnings, and outdoor decorations to a safer location indoors. Don’t forget your mailbox and trash cans too!
Secure and Unplug Before Storm Hits
After making sure all exposed bolts and screws are tight on your outdoor unit, cover it with a securely fastened waterproof tarp and tie-downs designed to withstand hurricane-force winds. Turn off the breakers for your AC, furnace, heat pump, and indoor air handler, and turn off the gas supply.
Turning off your unit is especially important if you have covered it, as your compressor can be damaged if the AC runs while the unit is covered. You can combat the lack of AC by turning the temperature setting on your thermostat down before the storm hits, which allows your home to stay cooler longer once the power goes out or you turn your unit off. If your home maintains power during the storm, you can run ceiling or floor fans.
Safeguard your HVAC unit with surge protection. While there is no way to completely avoid lightning damage to your unit during a hurricane, using a surge protector can prevent the unit from repeatedly turning off and on during power outages.
After the Storm
Wait to turn your HVAC unit back on after the storm passes until you have checked for damage. But, be aware that damage is often invisible to the naked eye, so it’s best to have your HVAC thoroughly inspected by our experienced Comfort Temp technicians.
Unseen damage can be caused by:
- Power surges. These surges damage the capacitor and compressor and lead to burned wires and blown fuses.
- Flooded compressor. If your unit is submerged in water for any length of time during the storm, our Comfort Temp technicians will need to inspect it.
Your HVAC unit may also give you more obvious signs that it requires attention. Check your indoor and outdoor equipment for debris, dents, mold, noticeable burn marks, or apparent flood damage. Make sure the refrigerant and electrical lines are still connected and watch for downed live wires. If you have used a tarp to cover the unit, remove it as soon as possible to avoid mold and mildew growth.
Make a Note of the Unusual
If you notice strange smells, smoke, or sounds coming from your unit, it’s a sign it needs to be inspected and possibly repaired or replaced. Breakers constantly resetting can indicate a damaged electrical system.
If your home is not heating or cooling correctly following a hurricane, accumulated debris in the compressor could be preventing the coils from dissipating the unit’s heat as it should. Simultaneously, damaged and leaking refrigerant lines are toxic and can keep your home from cooling correctly.
Comfort Temp Keeps You Comfortable During Hurricane Season and Beyond
Comfort Temp is your local HVAC service company, so we experience hurricanes and tropical storms alongside you and know how stressful they can be. Our knowledgeable technicians are here to expertly guide, support, and ensure that your HVAC is ready for whatever storms head our way. We’re also here for you after the storm and will work tirelessly to get your unit working properly again or replace it so that your home is comfortable for you and your family all year long.