Air conditioners are constructed to endure elements, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is drenched in standing water from a long downpour, this can severely damage the electrical components inside. Your air conditioner is most likely to suffer damage if the floodwater exceeds a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 614-334-3192 for an air conditioning inspection.
If severe flooding has occurred or is likely to happen, follow these steps to avoid hurting your air conditioner 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 bring moisture inside, promote rust, hasten mold growth and give critters a place to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone spot, research placing your air conditioner on an elevated platform. This elevates the system above any floodwaters and can save you stress and expense after the next downpour.
Another way to care for your air conditioning equipment is to build a retaining wall around it. This option can help you avoid air conditioner flooding, even as water surges around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the system when you are alerted a storm is on the way.
If hail is in the forecast, you can place boards of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the wood down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind gets stronger.
Don’t run your air conditioner while it’s submerged in water. Doing so could create an electrical shock hazard or even ruin the internal system components.
To skip this damage, switch off the power to the air conditioning and thermostat. The easiest 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 require a second opinion, call an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain subsides, you want your system to dry out quickly. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the surrounding area.
Don’t turn on the system until it has been inspected by an HVAC expert. Even after it has dried out, utilizing flood-damaged equipment might present the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still submerged in water. Some problems require days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s best to keep your air conditioner turned off until you receive the all-clear from an HVAC technician.
While you wait for your service visit, read through 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 as soon as possible. If you don’t have flood insurance, you could still be covered if the system has sustained wind or hail damage.
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