Simple methods to protect your air conditioning unit.
All of us have seen flooding, hail, lighting strikes and more. There are steps to take to minimize any damage caused by weather as well as steps to take if the unfortunate happens.
Prepare your air conditioning unit for all events beforehand.
#1. Cover, protect and clean your air conditioning outside unit
Just because your unit is built to withstand the rigors of outdoor weather doesn’t mean we can’t make life for it a little easier. Any type of cover from heavy weather is helpful to prevent damage. Some even have tight canvas covers to protect the units from winter, and forecast major storms. Falling branches, large hail, and rocks can damage cooling fins and the housing. Keep the area around the unit clean of debris including leaves,, sticks, dirt, and snow in the winter. Make sure your unit is securely anchored in place so it will not move during a flood or very high winds. (Not to mention thieves who might steal it for the metal!)
#2. Electrical and high wind storms.
Although it is difficult to get the timing right, and probably the last thing you think of in an electrical storm, unplugging (disconnecting) your unit might be the safest bet if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Lightning strikes can travel through the unit into the house ruining not only your unit but wiring within the home as well. If the unit is struck, or flooded with the power connected – stay away from it and call for help. When expecting high winds, be sure and clear everything away that could potentially impact the unit including chairs, umbrellas, tables, kids toys etc. You do not want this tuff tumbling around in any case!
#3. Flooding precautions
If you live in area prone to flooding, place your ac unit on a raised platform. All units should be on a manufactured base of some kind, but anything can be further raised with other means.
#4. After the storm
Check your unit for any damage after the storm and before turning it back on. If you did unplug or disconnect it and there was major wind or water, then it is most important to check it before restoring power. It goes without saying that any damage, including water damage, calls for a professional HVAC repairman before trying to start it back up. If you had a canvas cover to protect your air conditioning unit, also be sure to remove the cover before starting it!