Furnace Fiascos Avoided

Severe Seasonal Storms: How Do You Keep Your Outdoor AC Safe?

If you live in an area of the United States, such as along the coastal regions, that experiences severe seasonal storms each year, you may immediately take steps to protect your home from flooding, rain and other weather hazards. But one of the things you may not think to do is secure your outdoor air conditioning unit from high winds, excessive rain and flying objects. These dangerous things can damage the housing, fan and internal parts of your condenser unit, rendering the unit useless when you need it. Here are things that may affect your outdoor AC unit and what you can do to keep them at bay.

How Can Trees and Other Plant Life Damage Your Outdoor Unit?

Hurricane season can be unpredictable and dangerous for many areas of the U.S. Severe storms can produce extremely winds and heavy rainfalls that not only threaten the lives of people, but also affect the safety and security of their homes. One of the biggest hazards you might face is falling trees. While it doesn't happen during every storm, some storms are strong enough to weaken or knock down trees, which have the potential to land on your home's roof and anything placed close to it, including your air conditioning unit. 

If your AC unit sits near, close to or beneath a tree damaged by insects, lightning or another problem, you may want to secure or treat it immediately. If the tree's trunk or limbs are weak to support its weight, have a tree service contractor brace or anchor it with cables or stakes to keep it from toppling or falling over during high winds. You shouldn't attempt to stabilize the tree yourself to avoid injuries.

In addition to securing the tree, be sure to prune back any bushes or shrubs growing near your AC unit. Leaves, twigs and other plant debris may fling inside or against the unit during a storm and damage it. If the plants penetrate the condenser coil wrapped around the unit, it may clog up and cause the unit to overheat or fail when you use it.

After you secure the plant growth and tree, take steps to keep your AC unit protected from heavy flooding.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Outdoor Unit From Flooding Water?

Tropical storms, hurricanes and other seasonal storms can produce rains heavy enough to cause flooding. The flooding water can not only threaten to enter your home, it can also cause problems for the soil around your home by eroding it. If your outdoor AC unit sits on a concrete slab, it's essential that you protect the soil beneath the slab now. 

Soil erosion describes soil that degrades or washes away from rain and wind. Eroding soil loses its ability to support structures, such as driveways and walkways. Unsupported concrete may sink into the ground or crack. The concrete slab beneath your AC unit may potentially sink if it doesn't have enough soil to support the unit's weight. The unit may tip over and place stress on the wires, lines and electrical parts attached to it. It's possible for damage to occur in the parts found inside the unit when it becomes unlevel.

To avoid the issues above, check the base of the concrete slab for missing soil and replace it right away. You can use fill dirt from your yard, or you may stuff gravel or rocks beneath the slab to secure it. If the soil is too eroded, contact an HVAC contractor for assistance. You may need to replace the slab altogether. 

For more tips on how to keep your outdoor AC unit safe during severe seasonal storms, contact an AC repair specialist today.