How to Prep Your A/C Unit for a Hurricane

A storm on a beach with palm trees

When you live in Florida, your home needs to be prepared for storms during and after hurricane season. Many homeowners overlook their HVAC unit when preparing for storms. Avoid making this mistake by following these tips to prep your A/C unit for a hurricane or other Florida storm in St. Augustine or Jacksonville.

Preparing Your Indoor Unit

Ideally, you should begin hurricane HVAC preparation for your A/C units a few hours in advance. Let your air conditioner cool your home to a comfortable temperature in the hours before the storm. Try setting the thermostat a few degrees cooler than you normally would.

Consider investing in a surge protector specifically designed for your HVAC unit. A surge protector is an excellent way to fend off damage caused by lightning strikes and power surges.

Protecting Your Outdoor Unit

Your outdoor unit will likely bear the brunt of the hurricane. Make sure the outdoor unit is ready by clearing your yard of any nearby objects or debris. During the storm, items in your yard will likely fly around and can potentially damage your unit. Trim back trees and branches away from your unit with the help of a professional, if necessary.

Once you have cleared your yard, it is a good idea to elevate and cover your system. High winds can knock down branches and damage your unit, so it’s important to keep it covered.

After the Storm

It can be tempting to turn your A/C unit on as soon as the storm passes, but try to avoid doing so. Turning your unit on immediately can cause extreme damage if there is standing water in your unit. The first thing you should do once the storm passes, is perform a visual inspection of your outdoor and indoor units. Be sure to remove the covering on your outdoor unit to avoid trapping in moisture that could lead to mold.

Look for water damage, listen for strange noises, and take photos of any damage to send to your insurance company. Once you have assessed your unit, you should clean away any dirt or debris. Keep our Hurricane Prep Guide nearby when caring for your A/C unit before and after a hurricane.

If you suspect that your unit suffered some damage or want an extra set of eyes, schedule an appointment immediately with a NATE-certified HVAC technician. Book an appointment with A/C Designs for storm and everyday HVAC maintenance in Jacksonville, FL.