It’s been two months and we’ve made it this far into August without much more than the occasional thunderstorm. So much for Florida Hurricane Season 2022, right?
Not so fast. Anyone who’s lived in Sarasota more than five summers or so will tell you that there’s plenty more storm season to go.
We get our big storms in the second half of the season.
So What Does That Mean For Your Property Hurricane Preparedness Plan?
If you prepped your home and business before the season started in June, then good for you! Even seemingly unremarkable storms can cause all kinds of problems. Lakewood Ranch residents, for instance, know that the regular mid-afternoon storms won’t make the new, but they wreak havoc like
- Rainwater leaks
- Power outages and electrical disruption
- Wind/projectile damage
- Building material (wood, drywall) softening and saturation
On top of the battering we take from storms this time of year, no wonder late-season hurricanes can be the most dangerous and destructive.
Why Your AC Needs Protection
Your AC may look like a sturdy little bomb shelter, but it relies on precision mechanics and engineering. If your unit suffers a bent coil or damaged fan blade, or the whole thing is subject to a power surge, then your AC could be easily disabled—sometimes broken beyond repair.
Worse still, AC repairs and parts will be in high demand immediately after a storm. It can and will take a while to get your system sorted out. And with 2022’s supply chain nightmare, who knows when we’ll be able to get what we need to get you up and running again.
Moreover, we all know that one of the biggest risks of a hurricane isn’t the hurricane itself, but the lack of power and air conditioning after the storm. When Florida summer temps return to a storm-battered southwest Florida, a broken AC can be life-threatening. For much of our Sarasota population, going without AC in this weather is one of the threats risks we face.
How to Prepare Your Air Conditioning for a Hurricane
While your air conditioning infrastructure runs throughout your house, it’s the part of the unit exposed to the elements that needs by far the most attention.
Getting a Florida AC expert to examine the system inside and out is the best way to prepare for upcoming hurricanes. But there are some simple things you can do yourself to mitigate your risk.
Now’s the time to double-check your AC unit’s cover and surrounding area. While examining your unit closely, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the unit well connected to a concrete slab? Are nuts and bolts tightly fastened and in good condition, or are they rusty and need replacement?
- Likewise, is the fan guard or grill secure? Are there screws or clips loose or missing?
- What surrounds your unit? Is there foliage that needs to be trimmed overhanging tree branches?
- Does the concrete slab drain well or does water accumulate under/on the AC?
Take care of these things now. That way, in the case of a bad storm, if your power stays on or if you have a sufficient generator, you’ll be able to restart your AC ASAP.
Immediately Before/During/After a Hurricane
If a hurricane is forecast:
- Do a final sweep of your property to remove or secure potential projectiles, including potted plants, outdoor furniture, pool supplies, etc.
- Set your home to cool a few degrees lower than usual. That way your home will stay comfortable a little longer during an outage, especially if you minimize open doors.
- Turn off your AC during the storm itself. This can mitigate damage from a power surge and other electrical anomalies.
- You only have to way a half hour or so after the storm passes to turn your AC back on—just be sure there’s no flooding or standing water in or around the unit before doing so.
Look Out for Neighbors and Loved Ones, Too
It’s easy to get focused on your own property, but for a lot of us, this isn’t our first storm. We know the risks, we maintain our property regularly, and we’ve already been through this drill a few times.
But if your neighbors are elderly or infirm, if they’ve been away on vacation or simply have a large family that keeps them more than occupied, see what you can do to help. Even just giving them the number of a reliable, well-established air conditioning service company serving Sarasota-Manatee can make a world of difference when the storm comes.