Air conditioners are built to resist precipitation, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is drenched in standing water from a torrential downpour, this can severely damage the electrical components inside. Your air conditioner is most likely to be damaged if the floodwater rises above a foot deep. Still, if the system has flooded at all, call Midway Services at 727-219-2471 for an air conditioning inspection.
If bad flooding has taken place or is likely to happen, follow these steps to avoid damaging your HVAC system or making dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with a heavy cloth. A plastic sheet won’t protect it from water. Instead, it will trap moisture inside, lead to rust, encourage mold growth and give critters a spot to hide.
If you live in a flood-prone spot, consider installing your air conditioner on a raised base. This elevates the machinery above possible floodwaters and can save you trouble and expense following the next downpour.
Another way to safeguard your air conditioning equipment is to place a retaining wall around it. This technique can help you avoid air conditioner flooding, even as water flows around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the unit when you know a storm is on the way.
If hail is expected, you can lay pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to shield it from hail damage. Weigh the wood down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t run your air conditioner while it’s submerged in water. Doing so could create an electrical shock hazard or even destroy the internal system components.
To avoid these problems, switch off the power to the air conditioner and thermostat. The easiest method for accomplishing this is to locate the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and flip them to the “off” position. If you require help, get in touch with an air conditioning service company like Midway Services.
Once the rain subsides, you want your air conditioner to dry out quickly. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and clean any debris from the nearby area.
Don’t start the air conditioner until it has been checked by an HVAC expert. Even after it has dried out, running flood-damaged equipment may pose the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some troubles need days or weeks to begin having symptoms, so it’s best to keep your air conditioning turned off until you have the okay from an HVAC professional.
While you wait for your technician to arrive, read through your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage covers your outdoor air conditioning system. If so, take pictures of the damage and process your claim quickly. If you don’t have flood insurance, you could still be covered if the system has experienced wind or hail damage.
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