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Preparing Your Air Conditioning System for Hurricane Season

Published April 8, 2024 / By Big Bear Heating & Air
Air Conditioning System

Hurricane season in Sarasota and Manatee Counties brings with it the potential for high winds, heavy rains, and power outages that can impact your air conditioning system’s performance and longevity. As a responsible homeowner in Florida, it’s crucial to prepare your AC system before severe weather strikes, ensuring the safety and functionality of your investment while maintaining comfort in your home once the storm passes.

At Big Bear Heating & Air, we specialize in heating, air conditioning, and indoor air quality services for residential and light commercial clients. Our expert team is dedicated to helping you safeguard your AC system during hurricane season and ensuring optimal performance for years to come.

Securing Your Outdoor AC Unit

Before a hurricane hits, it’s vital to secure your outdoor AC unit to protect it from potentially damaging winds and debris. Consider the following tips to achieve this:

1. Install a hurricane-rated condenser cage or straps: These protective measures help anchor your AC unit to the ground or a wall, preventing it from being damaged or moved during high winds.

2. Clear the area around the unit: Remove any loose items, outdoor furniture, or debris around your AC unit that could become flying projectiles during a hurricane.

3. Cover your AC unit: To protect the unit from rain and wind-driven debris, cover it with a breathable, vinyl-coated polyester fabric specially designed for air conditioners. Ensure the cover is appropriately secured to prevent it from being blown away during the storm.

Protecting Your System from Power Surges

Power surges are a common occurrence during hurricanes, and they can cause significant damage to your air conditioning system’s sensitive electronic components. To protect your AC unit from power surges:

1. Install a whole-house surge protector: These devices provide added protection from power surges entering your home through the electrical system. They work by diverting excess voltage away from your home’s electrical circuits, safeguarding appliances like your AC unit from damage.

2. Unplug your air conditioning system: As an added precaution during a hurricane, unplug your AC system to decrease the chance of voltage spikes harming the unit.

Preparing Your Home’s Interior and Adjusting Thermostat Settings

To maintain comfort inside your home during and after a hurricane, take the following steps:

1. Seal windows and doors: Inspect your home’s windows and doors for any gaps that may allow drafts to enter. Weather-strip or caulk any openings to increase energy efficiency and keep your home cooler during a power outage.

2. Insulate your attic: Proper attic insulation helps maintain a comfortable temperature in your home by minimizing heat transfer through the roof. Be sure to use the appropriate insulation materials and achieve the recommended R-value for your area.

3. Adjust your thermostat settings: Before a hurricane, lower the temperature in your home a few degrees below your typical setting to pre-cool the space. If you lose power during the storm, your home will remain cooler for a more extended period.

Regular AC Maintenance and System Checks Before and After the Storm

Routine air conditioning maintenance plays a crucial role in ensuring your system’s optimal performance during hurricane season. Schedule a maintenance check with an HVAC professional before the season starts, focusing on the following aspects:

1. Clean and inspect all components: Ensure your system’s filters, coils, and fan blades are clean and free from debris to allow for efficient operation.

2. Examine refrigerant levels: Your AC system’s refrigerant levels should be checked and topped off if necessary, ensuring the unit operates at peak performance during the season.

3. Confirm secure connections: Verify that all electrical connections and fasteners are tight and secure, helping to prevent issues during a storm.

After a hurricane, conduct a post-storm inspection to identify any potential system issues:

1. Check for visible damage: Examine your outdoor AC unit for any physical damage caused by debris or flooding.

2. Clear debris from the unit: Remove any storm debris that may have accumulated around the unit to prevent blockages and maintain proper airflow.

3. Schedule a professional inspection: If you suspect any damage to your AC system, schedule an inspection with an HVAC professional to assess the situation and provide necessary repairs.


Preparing your air conditioning system for hurricane season is critical to protecting your investment and maintaining comfort in your home. By following expert tips on securing your unit, protecting it from power surges, and maintaining regular system checks, you can minimize potential damage from severe weather.

At Big Bear Heating & Air, our team of professionals is dedicated to providing top-quality services that ensure your air conditioning system functions optimally throughout the year, including hurricane season. If you require air conditioning maintenance or assistance in preparing your AC system or need repairs after a storm, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts. We’ll be happy to help you protect your investment and keep your home comfortable, regardless of the season.

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