Coastal Georgia has its fair share of hurricane watches and warnings. You’ve taken steps to protect your home, valuables and other investments, but what about your heating and air conditioning system? Here are some tips to follow to keep your HVAC system in working order, no matter what the weather brings.
Prepare Your Air Conditioner for Power Outages and Electrical Surges
One of the first things to fail during a storm is the electricity, and when it comes to hurricanes, you may be without power – and cooling – for several days or longer. When the storm first approaches, cool down your home as much as possible, and keep doors and windows closed. This helps to trap the cool air indoors so that you can stay comfortable for awhile. You should then shut off the unit when the storm is close to your home.
High Winds and Your HVAC System
Even if your outdoor unit is tucked inside a shelter or covering, high winds can still cause damage. Tree branches, outdoor furniture and other flying debris can wreak havoc on anything outside your house. We recommend that you trim trees and shrubbery that is close to your outdoor heating and air conditioning unit at the beginning of hurricane season. You should also store outdoor furniture or place it away from the unit. Also check the bolts that hold down the unit, and have any replaced if you notice rust or loose fittings. Cover the unit with a tight-fitting tarp and secure it with bungee cords.
Protect Against Rain and Water Damage
Check to see how water flows around the outdoor unit by testing it with a hose. Notice any spots where water collects and may flood into the compressor housing. Place sandbags around the unit to direct any rain water away from the unit and your home.
Keep Pests Away from Your Heating and Air Conditioning
Everyone and everything will be looking for places to escape the high winds and rain, including mice, squirrels and bugs. Check the area around the unit for any hiding places where little critters may like to curl up until the weather improves. If you cover the unit with a tarp, make sure that there is extra on the ground about two to three inches from the unit, and secure it in place with bricks, concrete blocks or other items that will prevent gaps.
Schedule a Professional Inspection
We at Hammock’s recommend that you schedule the annual maintenance for your HVAC system before hurricane season. Our technician checks fittings, air flow, ductwork and thermostats. We also check the area around your indoor and outdoor units for debris, branches and other items that may reduce the overall efficiency of your HVAC system. Make sure your AC is as safe as you make the rest of your home in storm season. Let Hammock’s help you prepare your air conditioner for bad weather this summer.