Air conditioners are constructed to resist precipitation, such as rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is submerged 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 reaches a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, call Stark Services at 817-668-6689 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has taken place or is likely to happen, follow these steps to avoid damaging your HVAC system or generating dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with a tarp. A plastic sheet won’t repel water. Instead, it will draw moisture inside, encourage rust, encourage mold growth and give pests a place to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone location, consider moving your air conditioner on a raised stand. This elevates the unit above possible floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense following the next downpour.
Another method to care for your air conditioning equipment is to build a retaining wall around it. This technique can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water collects around it. Similarly, you can pile sandbags around the equipment when you are alerted a storm is coming.
If hail is predicted, you can place pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the boards down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind begins gusting.
Don’t use your system while it’s submerged in water. Doing so could lead to an electrical shock hazard or possibly damage the internal system components.
To avoid these issues, switch off the power to the AC and thermostat. The fastest method for completing 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, call an air conditioning service company like Stark Services.
Once the rain subsides, you want your system to dry out swiftly. Remove standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the nearby area.
Don’t run the AC until it has been reviewed by an HVAC professional. Even after it has dried out, operating flood-damaged equipment can present the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some issues need days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s best to keep your air conditioning turned off until you have the go-ahead from an HVAC technician.
While you wait for your service visit, check 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 could still be covered if the unit has suffered wind or hail damage.
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