Air conditioners are constructed to resist precipitation, such as rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is flooded with standing water from a torrential downpour, this may severely damage the electrical components in it. Your air conditioner is most likely to get damaged if the floodwater exceeds a foot deep. Still, if the equipment has flooded at all, reach out to Strogen's Service Experts at 603-923-4570 for an air conditioning inspection.
If bad flooding has happened or is likely to happen, follow these directions to avoid damaging your HVAC system or creating dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with a heavy cloth. A plastic sheet won’t repel water. Instead, it will bring moisture inside, lead to rust, hasten mold growth and give animals a spot to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone location, research moving your air conditioner on an elevated stand. This elevates the unit above any floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense when you have to deal with the next downpour.
Another way to protect your air conditioning unit is to install a retaining wall around it. This structure can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water flows around it. Similarly, you can stack sandbags around the system when you know a storm is coming.
If hail is predicted, you can lay boards of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to protect it from hail damage. Weigh the boards down securely with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t use your system while it’s submerged in water. Doing so could lead to an electrical shock hazard or potentially ruin the internal system components.
To prevent this damage, turn off the power to the air conditioning and thermostat. The fastest method for accomplishing this is to find the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and turn them to the “off” position. If you need a second opinion, call an air conditioning service company like Strogen's Service Experts.
Once the rain eases off, you want your AC to dry out swiftly. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and remove any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t turn on the system until it has been inspected by an HVAC expert. Even after it has dried out, running flood-damaged equipment might cause the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still underwater. Some issues take days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s wise to keep your air conditioner turned off until you receive the go-ahead from an HVAC tech.
While you wait for your appointment, review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage secures your outdoor air conditioning system. If so, take pictures of the damage and process your claim as soon as possible. If you don’t have flood insurance, you might still be covered if the system has experienced wind or hail damage.
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