Hurricane season lasts from the beginning of June until the end of November, bringing devastating storms and widespread destruction. High winds and flooding can wreak havoc on your home and belongings if you are ill-prepared, so it’s vital to have a plan of action to protect against such damages.
Island Airco is here to offer important hurricane safety tips to ensure you and your family’s well-being during a tumultuous storm. Follow these guidelines to preserve the health of your HVAC system and your home’s safety in the event of a hurricane.
HVAC Hurricane Prep
Cool Your Home
Hurricanes often cause power outages which can lead to a hot and humid indoor atmosphere while you and your family await the end of the storm. It can take hours or even days for power to resume, so cooling your home in advance is essential.
Close all doors, windows, blinds and curtains before lowering your thermostat setting to keep the cold air inside and your family comfortable in case the power goes out.
Power Down Your System
After your home is pre-cooled, you should then turn off your HVAC unit to protect it from power surges. A power surge is a spike in your home’s electrical current. It discharges an overwhelming amount of energy from your wall outlets and into any connected appliances which can cause irreparable damage.
Therefore, you may want to consider installing a surge protector to shield your cooling system and electronic devices against dangerous and compromising voltage spikes.
Secure Your Outdoor Unit
If your area is prone to flooding, your outdoor AC condenser may not be tall enough to withstand a storm. A professional can elevate your unit by mounting it on a concrete slab for more protection. On the contrary, if you already have an elevated condenser on the second floor, you should secure it in place with hurricane straps.
Wherever the location of your system, it’s important to keep it covered with either a tarp or plywood after it’s powered off. Covering your unit helps protect it from any flying debris in high winds. However, make sure to remove the covering as soon as it’s safe to avoid mold and mildew growth.
Contact A Professional
If the storm damages your outdoor condenser, it’s best to contact an AC expert to inspect and repair any problems. A professional examination ensures that your unit is safe to operate before powering it back on, or helps determine whether you need a new system.
Protecting Your Home During Hurricane Season
Brace Your Doors
Doors are highly susceptible to water seepage from flooding. Prevent stormwater from entering your home and damage from high winds by placing sandbags along any entryway into your home.
Cover Your Windows
Contrary to popular belief, taping your windows offers zero protection against hurricane damage. Instead, you should cover your windows with durable plywood or invest in hurricane shutters.
Prepare Your Yard
Remove any loose items that can become flying safety hazards. Secure any yard furniture or standing equipment, like grills, lawnmowers, etc., inside your garage or shed. In addition, make sure to trim any dead or overhanging tree limbs.
If possible, unplug any devices to protect them against electrical surges. However, a surge protector is the safest option for instances when you don’t have enough time to safely disconnect appliances such as your fridge, dishwasher, washer/dryer, etc.
Move Valuables To Higher Ground
Move all valuables to the highest level of your home, such as the second floor or attic. For extra security, place smaller valuables in a safe. It is also wise to keep an inventory record for insurance claims.
- Non-perishable & easy-to-prepare food items
- Battery-powered radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit & medications
- Sanitation & hygiene products
- Portable chargers
- Fuel for generator or car in case you need to evacuate
If you and your family must evacuate, have an evacuation plan and “go kits” at the ready. Pay attention to local guidance for evacuation orders and shelter locations. If you have pets, make sure to locate disaster shelters that accept animals.
Contact Us For Eureka Springs Hurricane Preparation
As a locally owned and operated business, Island Airco takes pride in caring for the needs of our community. We take hurricane season seriously and want to make sure you and your family are taken care of every step of the way — before, during and after. Whether you need help preparing for a hurricane or HVAC repairs after hurricane damage, give us a call!