4 tips to prepare your AC for a dust haboob

Above: Copyright: lisafx / 123RF Stock Photo Home & Design | 18 Jul, 2016 |

Forrest Anderson Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. (Forrest Anderson), afamily-owned business in the Phoenix area since 1961, has been through its fair share of dust storms in the last 55 years. When a haboob rolls through town, the dust and debris not only leaves behind a big mess, but can be dangerous to your family’s health if the home’s air conditioning unit is not properly taken care of before and after a storm.

It may seem simple, but turning off your a/c for just 15 minutes during a haboob could save thousands of dollars in repairs.

“There aren’t many places in the world that experience massive dust storms like the ones we see here in Arizona, and as a local air conditioning company we’ve seen firsthand how it can damage a/c units in homes throughout the Valley,” said Audrey Monell, President of Forrest Anderson. “Although there’s nothing you can do to prevent a dust storm from slamming into your home, there are several ways to make sure your property is ready for the impact.”

Here are four tips to keep your AC working through the dust storms:

1: Make sure your house is properly sealed. If there are gaps or unwanted openings, dust can get pulled into your house and create an unhealthy breathing environment. If your unit is on the roof, consider adding a hail guard to protect the unit from exposure.

2: Turn off your a/c unit. Unfortunately, most haboobs strike in the brutal heat of the summer, but shutting down your air conditioner for a few minutes during the storm may save you big headaches down the road.

  • If the air conditioner is not running when the dust storm rolls over your home, it won’t pull dirt inside the system, keeping if clear and free of dust and dirt.
  • Storms often come with sweeping power outages, which can damage the a/c’s compressor along with other electronics in your home. Forrest Anderson recommends turning off your air conditioner until the power has come back on for at least five or ten minutes.

3: Moisture can ruin the outside fan motor. Unmaintained units can become caked with years of rain and dust. Preventative maintenance will ensure your air conditioner is clean and running optimally before and after a storm. Don’t do this one by yourself, hire a professional technician to service your unit.

4: Dust can overheat the unit. After a storm, the unit may have picked up a lot of dust and dirt, which can make the machine work harder and overheat. Call a service company to clean the unit if the haboob makes a beeline for your house.

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