The months from June to November can be quite worrisome for those who live along the Atlantic Ocean, and in the Gulf of Mexico as well. Hurricane season can add much stress on everyone, as you never know when a storm might be coming your way.
To alleviate this stress, Barker’s Heating & Cooling has gathered some tips and recommendations to aid you during hurricane season. Continue reading to see how to stay prepared, as well as how to keep your HVAC system safe and secure in the event of a hurricane.
How To Hurricane Prep
The first step to preparing for a hurricane is deciding if you are going to leave, or shelter in place. In some situations, evacuation is mandatory and safer than staying in your home trying to wait it out. If you do decide to stick it out, you will need several things, such as:
- Water (one gallon per person, per day for at least 7 days)
- Non-perishable foods (canned soups or food, crackers, cereal, bread, dried fruits, protein pouches)
- Can opener
- Baby formula, diapers, wipes, etc.
- Flashlights, batteries, candles, household tools, etc.
- Medications, first aid kits, disinfectants, face masks
In the event you lose power, make sure you have everything readily available beforehand. Nothing is more stressful than trying to shop and purchase necessities right before a storm or hurricane hits.
What To Do To Protect Your HVAC System
In addition to gathering items, you should also take the time to protect your air conditioning system in the event a hurricane or storm is coming. These suggestions below will help prevent possible damage.
- Turn off electricity to AC: electrical surges during a storm can often cause irreversible damage to major appliances. To prevent this, turn off your air conditioning system ahead of time via the thermostat and the circuit breaker.
- Cover the outdoor unit: if you know for certain that a strong hurricane and winds are coming, cover your outside unit ASAP. Random debris or objects flying can result in damage, so use a tarp or plywood to shield it. However, be sure to remove the covering as soon as it is safe, as keeping it covered can allow mold and mildew to accrue inside.
- Secure or elevate the AC unit: if you live above ground level, this step is for you. Using hurricane straps, secure the outside unit down so it does possibly fly off. If your outside unit is on the ground, perhaps speak to a technician about possibly raising it off the ground if you live in a flood-risk area.
- Check for damage before turning on: once the weather has subsided, do not assume that your air conditioner is good to go! Assess it for any possible damage, as flooding or winds could have blown fuses or disconnected lines. If this is the case, it is best to call in a professional for repair services – like the ones from Barker!
- Contact an HVAC professional: if you do not feel comfortable handling any matters about protecting or checking on your AC, call in a technician. They will be able to provide the best recommendations and services for your air conditioner and home.
All these suggestions can help protect your air conditioner from damage and debris. If you avoid these, you might be looking at costly repairs on top of whatever other damages or expenses might pile up after a storm.
Other Suggestions For Hurricane Essentials
Aside from stocking up on food, medicine and household things, and prepping your AC, there are several other things you need to have in order. For example, have copies of your IDs like licenses and passports, as well as birth certificates. Have cash on hand, as ATMs and banks may be closed, and fill up your vehicles with gas before the storm arrives.
You may also want to unplug all electrical appliances, especially electronics as storm surges can damage them beyond repair. If you can, trim and remove any dead trees or excessive branches that could potentially fall and damage your home. Lastly, brace your garage door as it can lead to your roof being ripped off if it comes open.
Contact Barker’s Heating & Cooling
By now, Barker’s has hopefully helped you navigate all your stress and worries on how to be proactive during hurricane season. For any AC questions or inquiries in the Brazos Valley area regarding hurricane preparation, contact Barker’s Heating & Cooling today!