Hurricane season is here, Birmingham! As you gear up to protect your home, you must be mindful of how the storm will affect your air conditioner. Storms can impact your HVAC unit. You will be stronger than the storm if you know how to protect your unit and to reach out to Skelton’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing, if needed.
How Hurricanes Can Impact Your HVAC Unit
Hurricanes and other storms can cause HVAC damage in several ways. Between high winds, pouring rain and debris, storms put your system at high risk for damage.
Hurricanes are known for their powerful winds, sometimes reaching over 100 miles per hour. These powerful winds can dislodge or damage HVAC units, especially if not anchored. The outdoor condenser unit, typically located outside a home or building, is particularly vulnerable. The high winds can topple or toss the unit, causing it to break or disconnect from its electrical and refrigerant lines.
Hurricanes generate airborne debris. These objects can become projectiles during a storm and collide with HVAC units, causing dents, cracks or other physical damage. The fins on the condenser coils, which help with heat exchange, are especially susceptible to damage from flying debris.
Hurricanes often bring torrential rains and storm surges, leading to widespread flooding. Water can submerge units in low areas. Water in the electrical components of the HVAC system can cause short circuits and damage the controls and motors. Additionally, floodwater can carry debris and contaminants that may clog or damage the system’s components.
During a hurricane, power outages and electrical disturbances are common. Power surges or voltage fluctuations can damage the sensitive electrical components of an HVAC system. It is essential to have surge protection devices installed to mitigate the risk of damage from power surges.
Corrosion And Saltwater Exposure
Saltwater can cause accelerated corrosion of the metal components which includes:
- Condenser coils
- Fan blades
- Electrical connections
Corrosion weakens the unit’s structural integrity and can lead to malfunctions or complete failure.
With so much potential damage, it’s easy to see why you need to protect your air conditioning unit.
How To Protect Your HVAC Unit From Severe Weather
Protecting your AC unit from severe weather, including hurricanes, can help minimize the risk of damage. Here are some steps you can take to protect your cooling unit.
Secure The Unit
Properly secure the outdoor unit to its base or pad. Use hurricane straps or brackets to anchor it securely.
Clear The Surrounding Area
Remove any loose objects, debris or potential projectiles from the vicinity of the unit. Trim back trees and branches that could fall and damage the AC during a storm.
Cover The Unit
Consider using a specially designed weatherproof cover for your unit. These covers can protect against flying debris, hail and heavy rain. However, removing the cover before operating the unit again is essential to prevent overheating.
Elevate The Unit
If you live in a flood-prone area, consider elevating the unit on a platform or platform blocks to prevent water damage.
Install Surge Protection
Invest in a surge protector or whole-house surge protection system to safeguard your AC unit from power surges. These devices can help prevent electrical damage caused by lightning strikes or power fluctuations.
Shut Down The Unit
If severe weather is approaching, shut down your AC unit and disconnect the power supply.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
Keep up with routine maintenance for your AC unit to ensure it is in good working condition. Regular inspections and maintenance by a professional HVAC technician can help identify and address any pre-existing issues or vulnerabilities before severe weather strikes.
By following these steps, you can help make your air conditioner safe in the path of the next storm.
Seeking Birmingham AC Repair
If your unit suffers through a hurricane or severe storm, look no further than Skelton’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. We have been providing professional AC repair to Birmingham for over two decades. Our technicians provide stellar customer service. Call us today!