Air conditioners are designed to resist precipitation, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is flooded with standing water from a torrential downpour, this could severely damage the electrical components in it. Your air conditioner is most likely to suffer damage if the floodwater reaches a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 866-397-3787 for an air conditioning inspection.
If bad flooding has occurred or is likely to happen, follow these steps to avoid hurting your AC unit or creating dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with anything. A plastic sheet won’t protect it from water. Instead, it will draw moisture inside, lead to rust, hasten mold growth and give critters a place to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone spot, consider installing your air conditioner on a high platform. This elevates the unit above possible floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense after the next downpour.
Another way to protect your air conditioning equipment is to install a retaining wall around it. This option can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water flows around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the unit when you realize a storm is coming.
If hail is in the forecast, you can place boards of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to shield it from hail damage. Weigh the plywood down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t turn on your air conditioner while it’s flooded with water. Doing so could result in an electrical shock hazard or potentially destroy the internal system components.
To skip this damage, switch 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, get in touch with an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain eases off, 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 run the air conditioner until it has been inspected by an HVAC technician. Even after it has dried out, operating flood-damaged equipment may cause the same hazards as using the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some problems require days or weeks to begin revealing symptoms, so it’s best to keep your unit turned off until you have the all-clear from an HVAC pro.
While you wait for your appointment, read through your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage secures your outdoor air conditioning system. If so, take stock of the damage and process your claim right away. 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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