Hurricane Season – HVAC Preparedness
Preparing for a hurricane in the Metairie/New Orleans area comes with a long to-do list, but one item you don’t want to overlook is your HVAC system. Although GHAC NOLA is here if you need repairs, below are six easy steps to prep and protect your A/C unit before, during, and after the storm passes.
Tip #1: Cool Down Your Home Before The Storm
It might seem counterproductive, but having your home cooled down to a comfortable level before the hurricane arrives will pay off if and when the power goes out. Turn the thermostat down a few degrees lower than normal and close the blinds and curtains (along with windows and doors) to help keep your home cool longer, even without electricity. Additionally, the old wives’ tale of opening windows to prevent the hurricane’s pressure change from causing the home to collapse is simply that — a tale. Doing so would also let the cool air escape and cause the home to warm up faster than it would with the windows shut.
Tip #2: Unplug or Turn Off Electricity To Your AC
Your AC is a big investment which can provide comfort for years. Protect its internal components by unplugging the unit or turning off the unit before the electricity goes out. Doing this can protect it from power surges that come from lightning strikes or the electricity being turned back on. Power surges can short out or burn internal electrical components including the motor.
Tip #3: Protect The AC
While protecting the internal parts of your AC, remember to protect the outside as well. Hurricanes and severe storms carry high winds which turn even a seemingly harmless lawn ornament into a damaging projectile. Use a tarp or plywood to cover the unit and bring in outdoor furniture, pool accessories, and lawn ornaments or secure them in place.
Tip #4: Secure & Elevate
Hurricanes bring a one-two punch with high winds and torrential rainfall. Secure the AC unit with hurricane or condenser straps to prevent it from moving during the storm. If possible, have the unit moved to a higher platform or elevation in case of flooding. If it is exposed to flooding, such as a foot or more of water, contact us to inspect your AC before turning it back on. The moving parts and electric components are sealed inside the unit, but severe flooding can overwhelm these seals and affect internal parts.
Tip #5: Wait To Turn On The AC
We know how a home can heat up without air conditioning during and after a hurricane knocks out the power. But once the power is back on, wait to turn on the AC until the unit has been inspected by an HVAC technician. Flying debris or floodwater may have damaged the unit, creating a safety risk for both the unit and your home should a damaged unit be turned on.
Tip #6: Have GHAC Inspect Your AC After The Storm
Storm damage to your HVAC system may be visible, but sometimes it’s not. If you suspect the unit has been damaged, or you’d like to just be on the safe side, contact us!
We hope everyone can stay safe during the hurricane’s storms!