While September is well-known as hurricane season, officially hurricane season on the Atlantic runs from September 1 through November 30 and storms happen all year round. If you want to avoid costly repairs and replacement, protecting your air conditioner compressor is essential. Since September is also National Preparedness Month to encourage Americans to be ready for emergencies and national disasters it’s a great time to evaluate your situation.
Even without a storm as bad as Hurricane Sandy or Hurricane Irene, bad weather can damage your air conditioning compressor, a.k.a. condenser, which is the outdoor unit. Lightning strikes are an obvious problem but wind-blown debris and flooding are also risks. Whether it’s a tropical depression, hurricane or just a really bad thunderstorm, the last thing you want is another thing to replace during clean-up.
Your AC compressor is the part of your home cooling system that is outside the home, but it’s key to making your home comfortable. It’s also the most intricate and expensive part of your AC.
How to Protect Your AC from Storms
Never run your AC during a hurricane or similar extreme weather. The same is recommended for during normal but severe thunderstorms, especially if your area is prone to storm-related power outages. When the power returns, it could cause a surge or spike that could damage your system if it’s running.
Adding a surge protector to your system is another precaution. Even with a surge suppressor installed, some experts recommend turning off all power to the unit during severe weather if possible.
Cover the exterior unit – especially if there’s a risk of hail. A cover will help protect it from flying debris, prevent items from entering the slats in your unit, etc. as well as keeping water from flooding it Just remember to remove the cover when the storm has completely past to ensure no water pools near or under the cover that could cause rust or mold.
Use hurricane straps – If your AC compressor isn’t secured with hurricane straps, consider having them installed. Hurricane straps, when properly installed, are wind resistant to 150 mph winds.
Trimming back trees and bushes near your AC unit if possible. That lessens the chance of weak limbs breaking off and hitting the unit (or your house) during a storm.
After a storm, inspect your AC compressor. If the unit was ever underwater, there’s any sign of smoke or damage to the electrical lines or refrigerant, do not turn on the unit. Contact your HVAC contractor instead
Tragar Keeps Your AC Safe
Let Tragar protect your air compressor from storms and hurricanes. An ounce of prevention saves headaches and higher repair or replacement costs later. Tragar and our HVAC experts take care of it. Contact us today.