How to Prepare Your AC for a Hurricane

Hurricane over Cuba near Florida

Hurricane season is here! First thing’s first: protect yourself and your loved ones. Here is some information on creating an effective hurricane plan. Once your family is safe, it’s time to protect your home and the investment that you made in your air conditioning system.

Step 1: Lower Your Home Temperature

Looking ahead to step number 2, you will be turning your AC off before the storm hits. Before you do that, be sure to lower the temperature on your thermostat for at least a few hours prior to the storm’s arrival. This will allow your home to stay cooler longer during the storm or in the event of a power outage.

Leaving your AC on during a hurricane could lead to major damage, repairs, or even a replacement.

Step 2: Turn Off Your Air Conditioner

The biggest risk to your air conditioner are surges and constant power outages. We cover surges later on in this article, but, for now, be sure to turn your air conditioner off before the storm hits. During hurricanes or large storms, weather has a tendency to bring about multiple power outages. Having your AC click on and off can be very damaging to your compressor and other integral parts to your system. Leaving your AC on during a hurricane could lead to major damage, repairs, or even a full replacement.

Once the storm has passed, check your air conditioner for any visible damage before turning it back on. If there is damage, DO NOT TURN your air conditioner back on.

Step 3: Secure Your Air Conditioner

A Category 3 hurricane produces winds of over 120 miles per hour. Your outside unit is properly strapped to a hurricane pad that is typically rated for winds up to 150 miles per hour. It is highly unlikely that your condenser will be moved, even by hurricane force winds, but it’s always a good idea to walk your property prior to the storm and inspect your outdoor unit to ensure it’s secured properly. It would also be smart to install a surge protector for your HVAC system to counteract any direct lightning strikes to your unit.

Step 4: Turn On AC Immediately After

Once the storm has passed, check your air conditioner for any visible damage before turning it back on. If there is damage, DO NOT TURN IT ON. You could make the damage much worse. Instead, set up an inspection by your local AC professionals at Scott’s Air.

If you don’t see any damage, you can turn your air conditioner back on. Depending on how long your AC was off during the storm, give your home 24 hours with the AC running for it to return to the cool, comfortable environment you’re used to. Remember, your air conditioner acts as a giant dehumidifier, so it needs time to remove the moisture from the air in your home after a wet and humid event such as a hurricane.

Trust in Scott’s Air

Hurricanes aren’t the only storms that can damage your air conditioning system. Every day storms can do significant damage. Follow the steps in this article to keep your air conditioning system safe and secure.

If you are worried that your air conditioner may have sustained damage after a storm or hurricane, call Scott’s Air Heating & Air Conditioning to come take a look. We have been serving the Central Florida community for over 15 years and we know all about the damage that storms can do to your system.


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Posted in Air Conditioning, Thing You Should Know
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