With the Republican National Convention in Tampa the past week, all eyes were on the Gulf Coast as over 500,000 Louisiana residents have been without power since Tuesday. Repair technicians and power professionals have been on the ground in northwest Florida all week helping repair the damage. One group stretched especially thin during these hot summer days is air conditioning repair technicians trying to not only get power, but cool air, turned back on.
At the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have given speeches to packed houses this week, repair crews worked to address some major concerns of convention officials and worked to fortify the building so it could be prepared for hurricane-force winds and rain. Here are just a few precautions crews took that you can take at home.
Sealing Off Cracks: In a storm, the last thing you want are holes in your home’s exterior seal. If you have open ducts, window units or other pathways to the outside, these need to be shut and sealed. Leaks, flooding and other negative impacts can be easily prevented by making these simple changes.
Power Down: If your AC is not running, it can’t cause any sort of damage during a storm. You will reduce damage to your units and prevent any electrical hazards from exposed wires if you are powered down as the storm passes over.
Cover All AC Units: One of the most common issues AC repair professionals come across is heavy debris inside units. Make sure you cover all units with tarps or other protective materials to prevent debris from clogging up filters and damaging internal components.
Reinforce AC Units: In the strongest of storms, most damage is caused by flying debris. If there is any chance of your AC unit being moved by wind, reinforcing the unit in place can save lives.
Use Spot Coolers: Many convention halls have backup cooling options to prepare for losses of power. Using spot coolers while AC units are shut down are great ways to keep air circulating while you are without power. These high-powered fans and cooling systems can often run on generator or battery power so they can be used even during outages and can take the place of AC systems that may be in need of repair.
Jesse Dugan is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @JesseDugan.