Protect Your Air Conditioner from a Summer Storms and Power Surges

air conditioners

Storms pose a risk of damage to your air conditioning unit, as the system could be harmed by power surges, high winds and debris, flooding, hail, and more. Protecting the conditioner units that keep your home comfortable should be a priority before, during, and after a storm has passed.

Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling explain tips to help protect your expensive outdoor cooling equipment when the weather takes a turn. Our team shares steps to take ahead of summer, when you first see the forecast, in the midst of the storm, as well as once it has passed. If you are concerned about damage to your air conditioner following seasonal storms, give us a call to schedule inspection and repair services.

Tips that Help Year-Round

It’s never too early to protect your AC from damage that could result when your outdoor unit comes into contact with severe weather conditions. It’s a good idea to take action on these tips well before you expect a storm so you have plenty of time to complete them.

Check Insurance Policies

If your air conditioner is harmed by storm conditions, will your homeowner’s insurance pay for repair services? You may assume your policy offers protection for any type of naturally-occurring damage, but it’s not uncommon for certain acts of nature to be left out. Flooding for example, is rarely covered by standard policies. Take time now to understand how your policy protects you and your HVAC system.

  • If you have questions about your insurance policy and how air conditioner damage is handled, give your agent a call.
  • If your policy doesn’t cover certain situations that you suspect could happen, it may be a good idea to increase your coverage.

Make Home Improvements

When it comes to summer storms, most of us recognize they could cause havoc with home electrical systems. Call your trusted home services contractor to discuss home upgrades that can better prepare your home for summer storm season.

  • The surge protectors plugged in around most Louisville homes won’t do much in a storm. Worst of all, your air conditioner has no protection if a surge should move through your home’s electrical system. Whole house surge protectors help protect your AC and other major appliances as well as all devices on the home’s electrical system.
  • A lightning strike or downed utility pole could leave your home without power until emergency service techs are able to complete repairs. If you want to run your air conditioner during this period or power other essential equipment, you won’t be able to. Backup generator installation can provide a means to fuel essential systems through an outage.

Yard Maintenance

Approaching storms don’t leave a lot of time to clean up loose items in your yard. Make sure anything that could become debris is removed on a regular basis to prepare for storm season.

  • Trim trees and hedges, removing any dead branches and cut down dead trees near your house.
  • Put items such as patio furniture, children’s toys, and barbecues in the garage or storage shed once you are finished using them. If you wish to leave these items out, make sure to secure them in case of high winds.

Preparing for a Storm

When a summer storm is heading your way, use the remaining time to safeguard your air conditioning condenser and home.

Increase Indoor Cooling

If you’re likely to lose power during a storm due to lightning or other damage, your home may warm up and become uncomfortable as you wait for the power to come back on. Pre-cool your house ahead of a storm so your family can stay comfortable.

  • Turn the thermostat down a few degrees lower than normal and allow the AC to run during the time before the storm hits.
  • Pull curtains and close blinds to help you home hold in cooling energy and block out solar energy from the remaining sun rays in the sky.

Shield Your Condenser

Outdoors, your condenser is right in the line of fire to be hit by debris when storm winds pick up. Usually, a condenser cover isn’t necessary but it may provide some protection in the middle of a summer storm.

  • Shut off power to your air conditioning unit before you install a cover, as operating it while a tarp or board sits atop the unit could cause significant damage.
  • Install a tarp or piece of plywood cut to fit the top of the unit. Tie down corners of the tarp so it won’t blow away and make sure the board is secure during the storm.
  • If you have a rooftop unit or outdoor unit that sits in an exposed area, secure it to the roof or concrete pad so high winds don’t knock the unit out of place.

Shut Down Your System

You want to turn off the air conditioner prior to storms just in case a power surge happens. If the AC is running, fluctuating voltage could fry wiring and components, possibly to the point that the damage cannot be repaired.

  • At the breaker box, flip the control for the air conditioner to the OFF position.
  • Use the thermostat to shut off the system as well.

After the Storm

When hard weather has lifted, you’ll need to go outside and take a look at your air conditioner before you turn it back on and run the system.

  • Remove the AC cover, and inspect units for damage from debris, signs of exposure to standing water during flooding, fried components due to electric surges, and other types of damage.
  • If you did not cover the air conditioner, check inside the condenser to see if debris has fallen in. If so, you want to remove this material before starting the system as it could jam or damage components.

Air Conditioner Repair in Louisville

If you believe your air conditioner was impacted by a summer storm, don’t risk causing any more harm to your system. Call Jarboe’s Plumbing, Heating & Cooling to have an air conditioning professional inspect and service your unit.

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