Protect Your A/C Against Irma

Hurricane Irma satellite viewWith the possible advent of hurricane Irma, here is an update on an earlier post. If you’ve lived in South Florida for a while, this probably isn’t the first storm you were concerned about. We know how important it is to be prepared for these storms, here are a couple of tips to keep your air conditioner hurricane safe.

Power Woes 

Turn your air conditioner off during power surges. This will help your system from starting and stopping. One of the worst things that can happen to an ac system is irregular voltage. When the power dips down it causes a strain on the electrical components of the air conditioner. Another issue might be the lack of power, and to make it worse, it typically is hot and steamy during hurricane season. With the heat and the humidity, you probably will be looking for any kind of relief.

When operating on a portable generator, only use fans and portable room-type air conditioners (depending on generator size). You should never run your home’s central air conditioner on a portable generator. High-SEER equipment using inverter technology MUST NEVER BE RUN ON A PORTABLE GENERATOR OR A BUILT-IN STANDBY GENERATOR. To do so risks damage to the equipment and voids the warranty on sensitive electronic components.

Electric meterKeep Your Air Conditioner Safe

For many unlucky homeowners, even when the power came back on they were still suffering in sweaty weather because their outside unit had blown away. When you face a category 4 hurricane that carries winds as high of 150 mph, your outdoor unit is at risk if it's not tied down with proper hurricane strapping. The good news is that when Complete Comfort Air Conditioning & Heating installed your air conditioner, proper hurricane strapping is part of our installation process.

Protect your air conditioner 

Besides strapping, here are some recommendations on how to prepare your air conditioning system before the storm hits:

  • Turn off your air conditioner
  • Turn off the outdoor unit at the disconnect switch near the unit
  • If you have a window AC unit or portable ac unit with discharge ducts that exhaust through a window or to the exterior, remove the units/ ducts and seal the opening
  • Cover any outdoor air conditioners or condensing units with a tarp or plywood to protect the air conditioner from flying debris

When Sunny Skies Return

Sunny skyUncover your outside air conditioner and inspect for any damage or debris.  If there is damage (beyond minor cabinet dents and dings) that may interfere with the operation of the equipment, call Complete Comfort (561) 531-5659 immediately so that you can receive priority service as soon as power is restored. As a rule, rising water will not damage the unit. But, if the water has risen to more than 2/3 the height of the unit, (1/3 the height of high-SEER inverter units) call Complete Comfort to assess the equipment before restarting, to avoid further electrical damage or hazard. Inspect all electrical lines and refrigerant lines, both where they connect to the house and to the a/c unit. If there are kinks or broken connections, call for service.

When Power is Restored

DO NOT TURN ON power to the unit until your home has reliable power. You must wait until reliable power has been safely restored, before turning on the disconnect switch at the unit. Then turn it back on at the thermostat. Cooling should begin, as always. If you have any questions whatsoever, it is better to be cautious. Call Complete Comfort with your questions, we are here to help. Call (561) 531-5659.

Photo credits electric metersunny sky
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