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How to Protect Your AC from Storms

A well appointed house is lit up while a large thunderstorm moves in overhead.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” There’s a reason why that old adage has been passed down through the years. It’s always better to be prepared for misfortunes than to have to deal with the consequences. During storm season in Austin, that proves true for protecting your air conditioning system as well.

Our professionals at Arise want your air conditioning system to be reliable before, during, and after a storm. Here are some tips to help protect your air conditioner investment.

Add Appropriate Insurance Riders

Although basic homeowners insurance will cover some storm damage, if you happen to live in an area that’s particularly prone to flooding, hurricanes, or tornadoes, you may want to add a rider to cover these particular situations. Having the additional coverage in Texas can bring you peace of mind you’re your most expensive household appliances are covered and can be more easily replaced if needed. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim related to wind, hail, or water damage each year.

Learn How to Turn Off Electricity

Be sure you and all older family members know how to access your electric circuit breaker and understand how to turn the electricity off in your home in the case of violent storms. You can do something as simple as labeling your circuit breakers so it’s easy to tell which breakers are connected to which major appliances in your home, including your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

By turning off the breaker associated with your HVAC or air conditioning unit, you can protect your system from electrical surges.

Consider Investing in Surge Protection

Power surges occur during storms but can happen at other times as well. Even minor power spikes and drops can damage your electronic appliances and equipment. There are many types of surge protectors available on the market today. You can invest in a whole-house surge protector that protects everything that is plugged or wired into your home’s electrical system. Or you can protect individual appliances or electronic equipment with their own surge protectors (like the ones used with your computer or TV). Call Arise to install AC-specific surge protection on your air conditioning equipment to ensure your most expensive home appliances are well protected.

Think About Purchasing a Generator

Many different types of generators are also available, including some that automatically turn on when the power shuts off. Having a generator backup is an excellent way to keep your air conditioning system up and running even in the worst of storms. It will also power critical appliances like your refrigerator and your electronic devices.

Secure and Cover Condenser

Most of the time covering your air conditioning condenser outside is a bad idea. The condenser requires free air circulation to operate efficiently. However, in the event of severe weather, you may want to place a tarp temporarily over your condenser to protect it. (Be sure to turn your system completely off before doing this.)

In addition, if high winds are an issue, you may want to tie down your unit more securely to keep it from being moved by the storm. If your AC unit is above-ground, consider investing in hurricane strops to secure your AC unit.

Prepare Your Yard

This may sound like a strange precaution, but being sure your trees are trimmed, dead branches are removed, and yard items are put away can help protect your air conditioning unit, as well as your home in a violent storm. Remove anything that can be blown around and cause more damage, especially in a storm with high winds.

Rely on the Professionals

It’s always a good idea to have an HVAC professional come out regularly to inspect your air conditioning system to be sure it’s in good working order. However, if you do suffer damage from a storm, you may want to have your unit inspected before you turn it back on. Storm damage may not necessarily be apparent, but in some cases it can cause more damage after the storm has passed. For example, debris from the storm can block or damage the condenser coils, damage to the service valves inside your unit may cause refrigerant leaks, and flooding can damage interior electric and electronic components. A simple inspection by a trained professional can ensure your air conditioner is safe to turn back on.

Let’s Talk Air Conditioners

Our Arise team in Cedar Park, TX, wants you to protect the investment you have made in your air conditioning system. For a new system, preventive maintenance, repairs, or advice regarding storms and your air conditioning system in general, call us at 512-267-5000 or request service online.

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