With so many forms of extreme weather rolling through Southwest Florida, it pays to have a back-up plan. Tropical storms, hurricanes, and severe thunderstorms are all common in the Sunshine State, causing power surges and outages that can prove to be very costly. So how do you protect your AC and keep it running, even when the weather gets rough?
Start with installing a surge protector.
Your air conditioning unit is likely one of the most expensive items you have at home. Yet no matter how sturdy your model may be, it only takes one potent power surge to break it. By taking measures to protect your unit from unexpected electrical surges, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs.
These preventative measures start with installing a surge protector. A surge protector is an appliance that limits the voltage supplied to the electronic device it is connected to, so if a sudden, high electrical current is sent to an electronic device that is connected to a surge protector, that surge protector will suppress the voltage before it reaches the device.
When you install the proper surge protection device, it will help prevent damage to your unit’s circuitry, as well as the compressor and motors. However, it’s important to install the right device. You will want to consult with a trained and certified technician to determine the best solution for your HVAC system.
Stay up and running by connecting your AC to a generator.
A generator provides your home or business with backup power when your main power source goes out. They come in handy during brownouts and blackouts, both of which are known to occur during Florida’s more intense weather moments.
However, when it comes to selecting a generator, size and type both matter. If your generator is too small to handle the amount of watts it takes to keep your AC and/or other essential appliances running, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
To determine what you need, there are three basic numbers to consider: continuous watts, peak power, and surge current capabilities. Don’t guesstimate these numbers. Even if you Google the averages for your appliances online, the true numbers can vary greatly, which can lead to you buying more or less power than you need.
Instead, start by calling in a Best Home Services technician. We can measure the running watts using a clamp-on amp meter and other proper equipment. We will take the proper measurement and apply it to a formula that will allow us to determine what kind of generator you need.
Keep your system’s environment safe from debris.
If you’ve ever weathered a Florida storm, you know that it can get windy. Limbs, leaves, and even furniture can fly away at a moment’s notice when the wind picks up. To help keep your AC unit safe, there are two things you can do:
- Clear the area around your unit
- Secure your outdoor items prior to a storm’s arrival
Start with a survey of your outdoor area. Are there trees, shrubs, or furniture located close to your air conditioning unit? If so, take measures to give your AC a little extra space.
Trim back your tree limbs to avoid falling branches that can get stuck inside the fan or puncture essential components. You’ll also want to keep any shrubs about two to three feet away from your unit.
Next, plan ahead. If you check your local weather station only to find a hurricane or powerful storm is rolling in, go outside and secure or store any loose items that may get blown around. This includes pool floats, toys, outdoor furniture, or light outdoor decor.
You can also purchase hurricane straps to secure your air conditioning and protect it from being shifted or moved under the duress of a hurricane’s winds. Also, make sure the bolts securing it to the ground are tightened.
Turn off the power from your breaker during severe electrical storms.
When the storm is bad, it’s best not to take any chances. If you’re experiencing a serious electrical storm, shut off your system from the breaker and let the worst of it pass you by. Yes, it may get a little warm inside, but storms often pass quickly. Shutting off your HVAC system for a couple of minutes is a far better alternative than having it fried, and then being without AC for several hours, or even several days.
For window units, always make sure you remove them prior to enduring a severe storm or hurricane. This will prevent damage or accidents, as these units are not very secure. A strong gust of wind or debris can tear it from your window unexpectedly.
Looking for a Professional AC Company in Florida to Help with AC Care and Maintenance?
Whether you need assistance installing a surge protector or generator, or you are simply looking for an AC repair or maintenance service to help keep you cool, Best Home Services is here for you. We live up to our name all across Southwest Florida as we deliver high quality performance, customer service, and efficiency.
We guarantee priority to all emergency calls and work around your schedule, so you don’t have to cancel your day just to wait for a technician to arrive. Our fast, friendly, quality service consistently goes above and beyond to ensure your satisfaction, even to the point of following up after each appointment to make sure that you are happy.
Experience what the “Best” service is like. Call one of our locations at 239-284-1472 or 941-564-0004. We service areas all across the Southwest Florida region, allowing us to respond quickly to your needs.