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What Should I Do to My AC If a Hurricane Is Coming to New Port Richey, FL?

By June 14, 2024Blog
florida storm

Nobody wants to deal with severe weather, but for Florida residents, hurricanes are a fact of life. The Sunshine State gets hit with the most hurricanes out of all the other states in the country. The state has experienced 120 hurricanes between 1851 and 2022. 

There are many things New Port Richey homeowners need to do to prep for a Florida storm and hurricane season each year. One of these actions is to prep your home’s AC system. Failing to take preventative steps to protect your HVAC unit could result in major damage. 

This blog will discuss our top hurricane preparedness tips for protecting your AC system in New Port Richey. Whether you want to know what to do the next time a sudden storm hits or you simply want to prepare for the season, we hope our tips get you started on the right foot. 

Before and During the Storm

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) typically issues a hurricane warning 36 hours before they expect the weather event to hit. Watching your local news channels and listening to the radio is a great way to ensure you’re not caught off guard if a storm is approaching. 

Secure and Stabilize Your AC

One of the first things you should do to protect your AC system is to ensure it’s attached to its base. A few things to keep in mind when securing your AC include:

  • Tightening loose screws and bolts
  • Use extra ropes, straps, or bolts to firmly secure the system 

AC units can get easily shifted or lifted due to high winds during a hurricane. Hardware stores sell specialty hurricane straps that you can use to ensure the unit won’t move during the storm. This is a step you can take before hurricane season starts so you’re not rushing around right before a hurricane. 

We recommend unplugging and taking the window AC out of your window as the storm approaches. Strong hurricane winds in New Port Richey could blow the AC out of the window. You can also purchase a cover with hurricane straps if you can’t easily remove the AC. 

You need to unplug any portable ACs you have in your home when the storm arrives. Power surges can damage the unit even if it’s not running but it’s still plugged in. 

Turn Off and Protect Your AC

Understandably, you may get overwhelmed when a hurricane approaches and forget to turn off your AC. Make sure you turn it off inside your home using your thermostat first. Turn off the fuse connected to your unit at the fuse box.

Cool down your home as much as possible before turning off your AC. Hurricanes can cause widespread power outages, potentially leaving you without AC for several days. Turn off your AC once the storm gets closer. 

Clean Up Around Your AC

High winds and flying debris like chairs or branches can severely damage your AC unit. Make sure you clean up the immediate area around your outside unit (so long as it’s still safe to be outside). This includes some of the following items:

  • Furniture
  • Toys
  • BBQ units
  • Tools
  • Loose branches

Anything that could potentially get thrown at your AC due to high winds should be removed and secured in another location. 

Stay on Top of Maintenance

Routinely scheduling AC maintenance during storms and after them is important. Air conditioners that have pre-existing issues are more likely to worsen during a hurricane. 

Some of the things an AC maintenance company in New Port Richey can look for include:

  • Evaluating AC refrigerant lines for damage
  • Cleaning the AC condensate drain lines to prevent water backup

The company you work with may also recommend that you cover your AC unit with plywood or a tarp to prevent additional issues. 

After the Storm

The aftermath of a hurricane can sometimes be catastrophic. While you might be in a rush to turn your AC back on and get your house cooled off, there are a few things you should do to ensure it’s safe to do so. 

Check Your Unit

Don’t turn your AC back on until you’ve visually inspected it for damage. Flying debris or flooding could’ve caused damage to your unit. High winds might also have resulted in various disconnections in your system. 

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t turn back on the fuse and restore power to your unit if water has been forced inside by the storm. This could cause a major electrical event in your home. 

Some signs you might want to contact a repair company include:

  • Flooding or high moisture levels around your unit
  • Loud buzzing noises coming from the system
  • Electrical lines close to the unit were damaged
  • Mold formation around the unit
  • You believe you had power surges in your home
  • You can visually see damage on the exterior of the unit

Turning on your AC system before you have the opportunity to inspect for damage could make the problems worse. If everything looks okay, you can go ahead and turn your unit back on. Contact an AC repair company in New Port Richey right away if you see any damage. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

Your homeowner’s insurance policy may cover damage to your unit. We recommend taking photos and videos of it before and after a storm. This makes it easier to file a claim when you have clear documentation. 

Prepare for the Next Florida Storm With Allied Air Conditioning & Heating

We hope our New Port Richey hurricane guide has helped you prepare for the next Florida storm. Hurricane impact on air conditioners isn’t something that should be ignored. Not taking the proper precautions could cost you thousands of dollars. 

Allied Air Conditioning & Heating is proud to be the leading AC company in New Port Richey, Elfers, Trinity, Dade City, and beyond. Our family-owned and operated company puts honesty, hard work, and timeliness at the forefront of everything we do. Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss hurricane preparedness for your AC in New Port Richey.