Air conditioners are built to withstand precipitation, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is immersed in standing water from a long downpour, this could seriously damage the electrical components inside. Your AC unit is most likely to suffer damage if the floodwater rises above a foot deep. Still, if the equipment has flooded at all, reach out to Matz-Rightway at 631-406-9220 for an air conditioning inspection.
If severe flooding has taken place or is likely to take place, 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 bring moisture inside, promote rust, hasten mold growth and give critters an area to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone location, think about placing your air conditioner on a raised floor. This elevates the machinery above potential floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense when you have to deal with the next downpour.
Another approach to care for your air conditioning unit is to create a retaining wall around it. This option can help you avoid air conditioner flooding, even as water rises around it. Similarly, you can stack sandbags around the system when you know a storm is on the way.
If hail is in the forecast, you can place pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the plywood down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind gets stronger.
Don’t run your AC while it’s surrounded by water. Doing so can lead to an electrical shock hazard or possibly destroy the internal system components.
To avoid these issues, disconnect the power to the air conditioning 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 want a second opinion, call an air conditioning service company like Matz-Rightway.
Once the rain subsides, you want your system to dry out quickly. Draw away standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the nearby area.
Don’t start the AC until it has been checked by an HVAC expert. Even after it has dried out, using flood-damaged equipment could pose the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some issues require days or weeks to begin revealing symptoms, so it’s wise to keep your unit turned off until you have the okay from an HVAC technician.
While you wait for your service visit, go over your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage covers your outdoor air conditioning system. If so, take pictures of the damage and present your claim quickly. If you don’t have flood insurance, you may still be covered if the system has experienced wind or hail damage.
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