How to Protect Your Air Conditioner

Severe weather season in Florida is here

Living in Florida, we enjoy beautiful weather most days. Fall, however, means an increased risk of severe storms as the hurricane season lasts until November. Your property, including your air conditioner unit, can face strong winds and pelting rainfall. Fort Walton Beach has even seen hail and tornado activity. Protect your air conditioner before the storms hit. Learn how to keep your HVAC operating well after the weather passes.

Prepare Air Conditioner for Storm Impact

Your air conditioner is built to withstand typical weather. Hurricane-created storms, however, may put it to the test. To combat the effects of the wind and electrical activity, take the following steps.

  1. Before the storm arrives, turn the thermostat down several degrees below your preferred level. This helps keep a residual “coolness” once you turn off your air conditioner.

  2. Did you say “turn off?” Unfortunately, yes. If you’re a transplant to Florida or are in your first home, hurricane activity includes sporadic power outages. Turn your air conditioner off during the hurricane to prevent damage from power surges.

    Your AC compressor suffers from these back-and-forth power outages. It also puts undue pressure on the other components to be shut off and turned on unpredictably. Power surges increase the likelihood of needing HVAC repairs or even replacement.

  3. In the most severe cases, anchor an outdoor AC unit with straps or cover it with a tarp. Of course, secure outdoor furniture, planters or toys. Any of these could be picked up by the wind and cause damage to your air conditioner.

Hurricane Over? Air Conditioner Next Steps

Inspect your air conditioner. It’s important to get it running again, unless it’s damaged. If your AC unit has experienced electrical or physical damage, turning it on can make the damage worse.

  1. Are the electrical and refrigerant lines okay? Is there damage?
  2. Did your air conditioner spend time under water? Whether freshwater flood or saltwater, submersion matters.
  3. Did a tree fall on the AC unit? Did the wind blow debris into it? If so, the fan blades may be bent. Components may be clogged with yard waste or other objects. Any of these can contribute to airflow obstruction or other obstacles to functionality.
  4. Any strange noises when you test it, such as buzzes or clicks?

Bacteria and Mold Risk for Your Air Conditioner

If no damage is present, fire up the air conditioner immediately! If left to rest too long, bacteria and mold may grow. By definition, a hurricane or severe storm subjects your air conditioner to intense heat and moisture. This combination invites mold and bacteria growth. The sooner you can run your air conditioning and dehumidifier, if you have one, the better.  

Trust Mills Heating and Air

Mills Heating and Air has served customers in northwestern Florida since 1984 with various central air conditioning service, repair and installation needs. We know Florida weather and we can help you before or after storm activity. Call us when you need service, repair or if you need an air conditioner replacement.

Mills can install new Carrier or Mitsubishi air conditioners that are ready to take on the sometimes unpredictable Florida weather.

Concerned about finances? Don’t be – Mills Heating and Air offers multiple financing options. By spreading out payments, you keep expenses predictable. We want you to enjoy increased comfort, less humidity and lower utility bills today.

Not ready to replace? Mills can service and repair any brand. Contact Mills Heating & Air to discuss air conditioning and indoor air quality options. For lower bills, call Mills!

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225 Green Acres Road, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

17747 Ashley Dr., Unit B, Panama City Beach, FL 32413

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