Well, here we are again.
While hurricane season doesn’t officially start until June 1, it seems Mother Nature is charting her own path in the Atlantic this year. Meteorologists and weather experts are confident in their expectations that the first Tropical Storm of the season, Ana, will make landfall along coastal South, and North Carolina at some point in the next 48 hours; we’re talking two to five inches of rain, and 35–50 mile per hour wind gusts. Will you be ready?
Can your HVAC system weather Tropical Storm Ana?
There are some general steps you can take to prepare your air conditioner for the arrival of a hurricane or a tropical storm.
- Find out if your condenser unit has tie-down straps. Those from the 1990s or earlier) may not have been installed with tie-down straps, and you’ll want to secure your unit with a metal cage.
- If your unit does have tie-down straps, check to make sure they have not rusted or deteriorated in any way.
- Invest in a quality surge protector — as this is not just a good idea for your HVAC unit, but also to protect all of your major household appliances.
- Trim your trees. Any large tree branches that hang close to your air conditioner, or to the power lines around your home threaten to fall and cause significant damage in the event of high wind.
And then there are more specific steps you should take to protect your HVAC system as Tropical Storm Ana draws closer to making landfall.
- Turn your air conditioner off — at the thermostat as well as the breaker.
- Secure any loose articles (Think patio furniture, toys, and plants.) or bring them inside. As winds rise, these items could fly around and damage your outdoor condenser unit.
- If your condenser is secured with tie-down straps, it should also be covered with a tarp. If your outdoor HVAC unit is secured with a cage, no tarp is needed.
After Tropical Storm Ana has passed, the work to protect your air conditioner isn’t complete. Consider these steps to take, but please, for your safety, wait until the coast is clear.
- Go outside and inspect your condenser unit for any obvious damage, taking care to remove any debris that piled around or on top of it.
- If your home floods, so usually does your duct work. Wet duct work leads to mold, and mold in the duct work means mold spores spread throughout your home. Contact Blanton’s Heating & Air, and one of our experienced HVAC technicians will come and check your ducts for flooding and mold.