Air conditioners are constructed to endure weather, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is immersed in standing water from a torrential downpour, this can seriously damage the electrical components inside. Your AC unit is most likely to get damaged if the floodwater exceeds a foot deep. Still, if the system has flooded at all, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 352-414-4006 for an air conditioning inspection.
If bad flooding has taken place or is likely to happen, follow these directions to avoid damaging your HVAC system or making dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with anything. A plastic sheet won’t keep out water. Instead, it will draw moisture inside, lead to rust, cause mold growth and give pests an area to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone area, consider installing your air conditioner on a high base. This elevates the equipment above any floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense when you have to deal with the next downpour.
Another approach to safeguard your air conditioning system is to install a retaining wall around it. This technique can stop air conditioner flooding, even as water surges around it. Similarly, you can stack sandbags around the unit when you know a storm is on the way.
If hail is in the forecast, you can secure sections 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 picks up.
Don’t use your air conditioner while it’s submerged in water. Doing so may create an electrical shock hazard or potentially damage the internal system components.
To avoid this damage, switch off the power to the air conditioning and thermostat. The fastest method for doing this is to go to 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 AC to dry out quickly. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and clean any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t run the air conditioner until it has been inspected by an HVAC professional. Even after it has dried out, running flood-damaged equipment can pose the same hazards as using the air conditioning while it’s still underwater. Some troubles require days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s wise to keep your air conditioning turned off until you get 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 protects 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 may still be covered if the air conditioner has sustained wind or hail damage.
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