When the weather gets intense, you'll be happy to know that your air conditioning unit is well-secured and protected from potential damage. According to HomeAdvisor, the average national cost to install central air conditioning is $6,202. As air conditioning units are such big investments, it's important to keep your AC unit safe from high winds, heavy precipitation, and other rough weather conditions. Use the following tips to protect your air conditioning unit come storm season.
1. Use a Surge Protector
Most modern air conditioning systems feature delay timers and suppressors built into the units. If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, you may want to use a surge protector to protect your unit from power surges. If you are unsure about what features your AC unit has, ask a professional to inspect your system.
2. Strap It Down
If your area is susceptible to major storms, you may want to consider strapping down your air conditioning unit. Many modern AC units have condenser straps that secure the unit to the concrete. If your unit already has these straps, be sure to check them on a regular basis for signs of rust or deterioration.
3. Cover the Unit
Storms can cause random debris to be thrown into your air conditioning system. Even if your AC is properly secured, leaving it uncovered allows for potential damage from airborne objects. Before the storm arrives, cover your AC unit with a tarp or plywood structure to minimize any damage.
4. Inspect Lines and Pipes
While the lines and pipes in your air conditioning system may work fine in normal weather conditions, these parts can become loose or missing when winds get intense. If you know a big storm is on its way, have any weak lines or pipes repaired or replaced. A weak refrigerant line that comes loose can cost you hundreds of dollars in freon.
5. Turn Off the AC
To prevent extensive damage, turn off your AC unit throughout the duration of the storm. If you have a window air conditioning unit, carefully remove it from the window until the storm passes. If you have portable AC units with discharge ducts that exhaust to the exterior of the home, remove the unit and seal the opening.
6. Clear Exterior Debris
Air conditioning units can quickly become damaged by falling debris, such as loose tree limbs or lightweight patio furniture. To avoid damage to your AC system, prepare your property for the upcoming storm. Trim any dead trees or limbs that hang over your unit. If you know a storm is coming, bring any patio furniture inside or strap it down.
7. Shut Off the Circuit Breaker
Before a big storm, shut off the circuit breaker that supplies power to your air conditioning system. It's also important to unplug the power cable to prevent the AC unit from sending a flow of electricity through the power cord and into your home in the event that your home is struck by lightning.
8. Check the Unit Post-Storm
Once the storm has passed, you'll want to make sure that the unit is free of debris and any potential damage before resuming normal operation. Look for any excessive leaks or signs of moisture, as well as temperature and airflow inconsistencies. If you suspect that your AC unit may be damaged, contact a professional to come and inspect it.
Storms can wreak havoc on your air conditioning systems. Fortunately, there are numerous things you can do to protect your AC unit from becoming damaged when the weather gets bad. For more information about caring for and maintaining your air conditioning unit, contact your local HVAC company, a website like http://www.perryheatingandcooling.com.