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McCutcheon Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Preparing your Air Conditioning System for 2020 Hurricanes

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Living in Florida, you probably already have a well-worn routine you break into whenever inclement weather is on the horizon, but is preparing your Air Conditioning System a part of that routine?

According to forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, is expected to be an “above normal” season with 13 to 19 named storms, 6 to 10 of which will likely become hurricanes, including 3 to 6 “major” hurricanes.

These tips will keep you comfortable and your AC protected in the event of a hurricane:

Secure the Unit

Make sure your outdoor unit is properly secured to the concrete. Check the metal bolts and straps that hold your system in place for signs of rust or deterioration which could make the unit vulnerable to high winds.

Clear and Cover

Prior to the storm, bring in any outdoor tables, chairs or other items that could become airborne and cause damage to the AC System. You can even cover the outside unit with a tarp in order to keep it free from flying leaves, dirt and other debris, but make sure to remove the covering before you turn the unit back on!

Cool Down Your House

Before the threat of the storm is imminent, try cooling your house as much as possible so you are comfortable for a while after you turn off your AC System.

Turn Off the Power

Nearly 90% of all electrical system damage occurs when the AC is left on during a thunderstorm or hurricane. You may have to tolerate a bit of heat and humidity when you turn off your AC but leaving it on could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.

Wait 20 Minutes

Keep the AC off until the storm passes and don't be in a rush to turn it back on. In the event of flooding, don’t restore power to the equipment until it is completely dry and you are certain that it is safe to do so.

Even if the unit looks unharmed, wait a minimum of 20 minutes after the power is restored to turn the AC System back on. Unstable or “dirty” power is common in the minutes after the power returns.

Stay safe and don’t forget to include your AC System in your Hurricane Preparedness Plan. 

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Do you have the coolest attic in Sarasota?

Keeping cool is great for you, but not for your attic...

According to FPL, over 70% of homes in Southwest Florida have leaky ductwork. If you live in one of those homes, you’re probably spending 20 to 30% more on your electric bill – just to cool your attic!
Why are we telling you this now?

If you need to repair or replace your ductwork in Florida, there’s no time like winter.

Attics in Florida can reach temperatures of up to 130 degrees during the summer, so technicians can’t stay up there as long during the summer as they can when it’s cooler outside. This means that a job that takes 1 day during the fall or winter may take 2 days during the dog days of summer.

Air Conditioning companies are also much busier during the summer, so you’re more likely to get a great deal between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day!

How do you know if your ductwork needs to be repaired or replaced?

Most homes in Florida have flexible ductwork. Flexible ductwork is less expensive and easier to install, but it’s just plastic and, as such, it will deteriorate over time. If your ductwork is more than 5 years old, you should inspect it at least once a year.

1. Start by visually inspecting your ductwork. Look for tears in the protective coating, kinks, flattened areas, or even exposed insulation.

2. Flexible ductwork is very susceptible to wildlife. If you suspect that you might have had rats, squirrels, raccoons or any other critter in your attic, make sure you check your ducts.

3. If your ductwork is rattling, clanging, or banging, you could have some loose connections.

4. If the vents that are closer to AC System have more air pressure than the vents that are further away or if some rooms are colder than others, take a look at your ductwork.

5. If your electric bill seems higher than it should be, your ductwork could be to blame.

If you would like to schedule a service or maintenance visit, call Sean McCutcheon's Air Conditioning and Heating at (941) 921-7208 and let us help you get your home ready for next summer!

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5696 Pinkney Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34233

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