Although it’s not something that we tend to think about often, being that the summer season can sometimes bring some pretty brutal thunderstorms right along with it, it’s important to know how to safeguard your appliances – especially your air conditioner.
If you’d like to know some of the proven ways that you can do just that, here are five essential summer thunderstorm AC protection tips:
Turn your thermostat up. During the summer, in the effort to keep the rooms in your house cooler, there’s a tendency to turn your thermostat down. In order to make the house the temperature you want, often the unit will turn on more often. However, when a storm is brewing, it really is best to turn your thermostat up. It won’t turn on as often, which reduces the chance of the unit being affected by lightning or a power outage.
Get a programmable thermostat. In preparation for a thunderstorm that is on the way, one thing that you AC system should have is a time delay feature. If your unit does not automatically have one built into its microprocessor, then look into getting a programmable thermostat. Many of them come with incorporated time-delay technology. What time delay does is prevent your unit from turning on immediately after a power failure. That way, the power grid has more time to stabilize, making your HVAC unit not as vulnerable to experiencing damage due to voltage spikes.
Install a sump pump. If the storm is serious enough and you have a basement, it could ultimately lead to water damage as it directly relates to your HVAC unit and your ducts. Luckily, this can be prevented with the installation of a sump pump. Sump pumps are installed into the basin of your basement’s floor and automatically help water in your basement to recede after reaching a certain level. For more information on sump pumps, visit Sump Pumps Direct. You might also want to go to EnergyStar.gov to see what Energy Star recommendations on sump pumps there may be.
Remove loose objects outside. If you happen to have patio furniture, children’s toys or a portable grille that is within a few feet of the outer part of your AC, it’s best if you take them into your garage or your shed before a storm. If the storm’s winds are gusty, that could cause those items to fly around and inadvertently land on the outer part of your unit. That could result in some really costly repairs.
Get a canvas for the outer part of the unit. Speaking of protecting the outer part of your unit, something else that you should do is get a canvas for it. That serves as a covering so that twigs, rocks, other forms of debris or even hail will not land on your unit during a thunderstorm. You can purchase a cover for your unit at your local home improvement store or at a website like HVAC Covers. You can also learn how to make your own by going to YouTube and putting “how to make an air conditioner cover” in the search field.