Thunderstorms seem loud and catastrophic, but they are actually quite tame – the real trouble is what the thunderstorm drums up: rain, hail, lightning and fast moving winds. If you just stay inside and remain protected, you will be okay. However, if you don’t take measures to protect your air conditioning system, you may be left without a source of cool refreshing air for the remainder of the summer – or until you finally get around to repairing your AC. This is why you want to take measures to batten down the hatches – your AC won’t be safe from the next storm if you don’t. Here is how to prep and protect your air conditioner for a major thunderstorm.
First and foremost, you want to make sure that your air conditioning system is set up on its own electrical line. This means that you want your electrical system to have its own breaker and channel so that when the power goes out and surges back on, it doesn’t damage your AC or cause an electrical fire. You can usually call an electrician and have them create a unique channel for your air conditioning system.
Next, it is important that you place a cover over your condenser unit. A cover will ensure that the delicate inner workings of the condenser unit are protected from extreme moisture and falling debris. One of the most basic principles of ductwork design is that it is covered and protected, thus offering more efficient operation. You want to apply this same principle to your outdoor condenser unit, especially if you live in a region that suffers from highly charged thunderstorms in the summertime. On top of covering your condenser unit, you may also want to attach an anchor so that the unit doesn’t lift off the ground in a strong gale.
Another important step to prep and protect your AC system is to clear tree branches and bushes around your condenser unit. Not only can extreme wind knock over branches, but lightning can also strike and fell large limbs, which can virtually decimate your condenser unit. This is why you want to clear a path around the condenser unit. If you have particularly dense foliage, you may want to hire a specialized landscape company because you don’t want to injure yourself. If you think you can handle some major branch removal, you may want to rent a buzz saw and fell a few branches yourself.
Lastly, prepping and protecting your AC is essential if you live in a region that is particularly affected by thunderstorms. In the summertime, thunderstorms can be electrically charged as a result of the warm air, which can result in blackouts, downed power lines, wind and flooding. For all these reasons, you want to do your best to cover your condenser unit, protect against surges and clear foliage. Damage to your AC is not only expensive, but it can knock out your ability to properly cool your home and manage the climate, which can be quite frustrating when the heat is particularly searing.