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McCutcheon Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Preparing your Air Conditioning System for 2020 Hurricanes

hurricane

Living in Florida, you probably already have a well-worn routine you break into whenever inclement weather is on the horizon, but is preparing your Air Conditioning System a part of that routine?

According to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, is expected to be an “above normal” season with 13 to 19 named storms, 6 to 10 of which will likely become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 “major” hurricanes.

These tips will keep you comfortable and your AC protected in the event of a hurricane:

Secure the Unit

Make sure your outdoor unit is properly secured to the concrete. Check the metal bolts and straps that hold your system in place for signs of rust or deterioration which could make the unit vulnerable to high winds.

Clear and Cover

Prior to the storm, bring in any outdoor tables, chairs or other items that could become airborne and cause damage to the AC System. You can even cover the outside unit with a tarp in order to keep it free from flying leaves, dirt and other debris, but make sure to remove the covering before you turn the unit back on!

Cool Down Your House

Before the threat of the storm is imminent, try cooling your house as much as possible so you are comfortable for a while after you turn off your AC System.

Turn Off the Power

Nearly 90% of all electrical system damage occurs when the AC is left on during a thunderstorm or hurricane. You may have to tolerate a bit of heat and humidity when you turn off your AC but leaving it on could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Wait 20 Minutes

Keep the AC off until the storm passes and don't be in a rush to turn it back on. In the event of flooding, don’t restore power to the equipment until it is completely dry and you are certain that it is safe to do so.

Even if the unit looks unharmed, wait a minimum of 20 minutes after the power is restored to turn the AC System back on. Unstable or “dirty” power is common in the minutes after the power returns.

Stay safe and don’t forget to include your AC System in your Hurricane Preparedness Plan. 

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Preparing your Air Conditioning System for Hurricanes

hurricane Florida 2019

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a “near-normal” hurricane season this year, but you don’t need a very active season for just one hurricane to make landfall and wreak havoc.

Secure the Unit

Make sure your outdoor unit is properly secured to the concrete. Check the metal bolts and straps that hold your system in place for signs of rust or deterioration which could make the unit vulnerable to high winds.
Clear and Cover

Prior to the storm, bring in any outdoor tables, chairs or other items that could become airborne and cause damage to the AC System. You can even cover the outside unit with a tarp in order to keep it free from flying leaves, dirt and other debris, but make sure to remove the covering before you turn the unit back on!

Cool Down Your House

Before the threat of the storm is imminent, try cooling your house as much as possible so you are comfortable for a while after you turn off your AC System.

Turn Off the Power

Nearly 90% of all electrical system damage occurs when the AC is left on during a thunderstorm or hurricane. You may have to tolerate a bit of heat and humidity when you turn off your AC but leaving it on could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Wait 20 Minutes

Keep the AC System turned off until the storm passes and don't be in a rush to turn it back on. In the event of flooding, do not restore the power to the equipment until the system is completely dry and you are certain that it is safe to do so.

Even if the unit looks unharmed and it is not flooded, wait a minimum of 20 minutes after the power is restored to turn the AC System back on. Unstable or “dirty” power is common in the minutes after the power returns.

Stay safe this hurricane season and make sure to include your Air Conditioning and Heating System in your Hurricane Preparedness Plan.

Click here to download a PDF of this guide

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