Don't Let A Hurricane Blow Your Air Conditioner: How You Can Protect It
If you live in a coastal community, you're likely aware that hurricane season has officially begun. Given the unpredictability of these storms, advance planning is critical. While you're stocking wood to board your windows and ensuring you have plenty of lamps on hand, make sure you're also putting a plan in place to protect your air conditioner unit.
Invest in a Cover
Long before there is a storm in the forecast, invest in a quality cover for your unit. With hurricanes, the greatest threat are the high winds that they produce. Your neighbor's lawn chairs, or even shingles from the roof, could go flying through the air. Should these objects slam into the air conditioning unit and it's unprotected, there is an elevated risk for damage.
If your air conditioner is in somewhat of a shielded area, a regular cover should be sufficient. However, if the unit is out in the open, it might be wise to build an enclosure that you can put over it.
Tidy the Lawn
When a powerful storm is headed your way, set aside some time to tidy up your lawn. Even a low-level category one storm has sustained winds of at least 74 mph. Lightweight toys and plastic lawn furniture can easily be upended and crash into your unit.
With more powerful storms, even wrought iron furniture and trees can be lifted. Although you can't exactly go and uproot all the trees in the lawn, you do want to remove any item that is not permanently affixed to the ground to protect your unit, and your entire home for that matter.
Power It Off
It doesn't matter if you're facing a category one storm and you're planning to ride it out or you're facing a more powerful storm and are evacuating – always power off the unit. In addition to high winds, heavy rain is another issue you will face. This heavy rain can often lead to flooding.
When the unit is still on, excessive water isn't going to be a good match. In addition to heavy rain, the wind can also cause frequent power outages. This on and off cycle of power surges can also damage the unit. The best way to protect the unit is to cut off the power at the breaker.
Your proactive measures will save you a lot of stress and more importantly, a lot of money in extra repair costs. Do your part to protect your home and get in touch with an air conditioning contractor when you need to.