Storms are common during the spring season, which can put your outdoor air conditioning unit at risk for damage. Don’t risk an interruption in operation and comfort as you wait for repairs. A-1 Mechanical shares how you can protect your outdoor AC unit from storms.
Protecting Your Air Conditioner from Falling Debris
Be proactive as much as possible prior to storms. Remove dead branches from trees and the ground around your property. Trim back branches that overhang the area to protect AC’s condenser unit from storms and powerful winds.
If high winds are expected, the outdoor unit can be covered with a tarp or sheet of plywood to protect its top from falling debris. Such a cover also offers protection for large hailstones. For elevated units, secure the condenser unit with hurricane straps.
To protect the air conditioner from storms and debris that blow into its sides, try building a structure around it for protection. Such a structure keeps leaves and other debris from being blown into the interior of the unit, which can cause damage, clogs and performance issues. Any structure should be built at least 24 inches away from the unit on all sides. Shrubbery with strong root systems also provides natural protection for the unit.
It’s important to only do so if the air conditioner will not be in use during the storm. Remove the cover as soon as the storm passes, as you don’t want moisture to be trapped inside the unit for too long.
Protection from Flooding
There’s no need to cover an outdoor unit just because of rain – this equipment is designed for exposure to the elements. If a flood is expected, covers may be of some benefit, but only when they are thoroughly sealed.
Anytime an air conditioning unit is exposed to flood waters, even if you used a cover, it needs to be inspected by a professional before further use. Components may have been damaged while sitting in flood waters, which could make the system dangerous to operate without repairs.
During a Storm
Once a storm rolls in, cut power to protect the outdoor AC system from electrical surges caused by close lightning strikes. Doing so also prevents damage that could occur if falling debris becomes lodged within the unit’s interior.
To avoid discomfort during a power outage – or if you turn off power to protect your air conditioning unit from storms – pre-cool your home. Prior to the storm, lower your thermostat settings several degrees. Keep window coverings, doors and windows shut to help your home hold in more of its cooling while the storm carries on.
After a Storm
Before using your air conditioner again after a storm, always inspect it for potential damage. Do not leave the system shut down for too long, as doing so may cause mold and mildew development due to trapped moisture. If you are unsure if the unit has been damaged or if it has been flooded, call your HVAC system professional for inspection before use.
Air Conditioner Repairs from A-1 Mechanical
Despite your best efforts and the tips mentioned in this blog, it’s not always possible to prevent damage. If your air conditioner has been damaged, A-1 Mechanical performs fast repairs to quickly restore your system and return cool air to your home. Contact A-1 Mechanical today to schedule service for your outdoor HVAC unit.