Air conditioners are designed to resist weather, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is submerged in standing water from a long downpour, this can critically damage the electrical components in it. Your AC unit is most likely to be damaged if the floodwater rises above a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, reach out to McElroy Service Experts at 308-210-4398 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has happened or is likely to happen, follow these steps to avoid hurting your HVAC system or creating dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with anything. A plastic sheet won’t repel water. Instead, it will draw moisture inside, encourage rust, hasten mold growth and give pests an area to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone location, consider moving your air conditioner on a raised platform. This elevates the unit above possible floodwaters and can save you trouble and expense following the next downpour.
Another method to protect your air conditioning system is to install a retaining wall around it. This structure can stop air conditioner flooding, even as water flows around it. Similarly, you can pile sandbags around the system when you are alerted a storm is coming.
If hail is in the forecast, you can place sections of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to protect it from hail damage. Weigh the boards down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t turn on your system while it’s flooded with water. Doing so may lead to an electrical shock hazard or potentially ruin the internal system components.
To avoid these issues, disconnect the power to the AC and thermostat. The quickest method for doing this is to go to the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and switch them to the “off” position. If you want assistance, get in touch with an air conditioning service company like McElroy Service Experts.
Once the rain subsides, you want your AC to dry out quickly. Remove standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t turn on the system until it has been inspected by an HVAC professional. Even after it has dried out, using flood-damaged equipment can cause the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some troubles require days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s wise to keep your unit turned off until you get the okay 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 photos of the damage and present your claim right away. If you don’t have flood insurance, you may still be covered if the system has suffered wind or hail damage.
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