After Irma – Safely Start Your A/C

themostat with power lines in the backgroundOnce the power is restored, perhaps the first thing on everyone’s mind is, “will the air conditioner start?” Here are a few startup tips to set your mind at ease, and to ensure the best comfort experience for your home. If you have any questions, please call Complete Comfort at 561-529-6262. We are here to help.


In a previous post, we recommended that you turn the equipment off at the outdoor disconnect switch. This safety step protects you and your home when power returns.

Technician looking at an AC unitBefore you flip the switch, do a visual inspection. Check for damage and remove any twigs or debris that have blown on top of or against the equipment. Inspect the copper lines for kinks or dents from flying debris; check the electrical connections, cable, and fittings. Call Complete Comfort if there are signs of damage (other than superficial damage to the insulation).

Inspect the drain coming from your air conditioner to the outdoors. Be certain the plastic lines are not broken, that no fittings have come loose. Look into the drain outlet (if accessible) and see that no “critters” or debris have blocked the outlet pipe.


Circuit breakers are not intended to be used as switches. Turn the thermostat off, then reset any breakers or switches you turned off before the storm. Then start the thermostat as you do normally. The sound of your air conditioner will be like music to your ears. Note the temperature and (if shown) the humidity. My (Jim) startup conditions were 91o temperature and 78% humidity.


woman relaxingYour air conditioner will not cool the house as normal. There are two reasons for this: temperature and humidity when you first start it. EVERYTHING in the house is hot (in my case, 91o) and EVERYTHING in the house is damp. Your air conditioner must address both these conditions to restore your home to comfort conditions – and this takes TIME. Also, your air conditioner is designed to dehumidify before it cools. That is, you will see a change in humidity before a change in temperature. If your thermostat shows temperature only, BE PATIENT.


When you start your a/c, record humidity means the drain from your air conditioner will be handling more water than usual. Drain blockages can occur when pressure from storm winds can cause a surge that loosens debris in lines and pans. When drain pans dry during prolonged shutdowns, algae can flake and break loose to block narrow drain passageways. Depending on the duration of the outage, it may take a few minutes or an hour for the drain to begin dripping. But check it regularly (every 15 minutes or so) until it does. A delay of drain flow for more than an hour indicates a potential problem that must be addressed by a Complete Comfort technician.


a collection of words related to humidityOnce you start cooling, the thermostat will not indicate as rapid a temperature change as you are accustomed to. A home comfort system is designed to address gradual temperature and humidity changes throughout the day. Extreme conditions do not make your air conditioner work harder but will cause it to run longer. Your air conditioner may run for many hours non-stop until comfort conditions are achieved. Over time (typically overnight), your air conditioner will restore your home’s environment. Only then will normal equipment cycles resume.


Complete Comfort Heating and Cooling is open for business and ready to meet you start and maintain your air conditioner. Our fully stocked trucks are on the road. Trained technicians are equipped to bring you the comfort you and your family expect. Call us today at (561) 529-6262.

Photo Credits:
delcreations / 123RF Stock Photo
antonioguillem / 123RF Stock Photo