Air conditioners are built to endure weather, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is flooded with standing water from a large downpour, this may seriously damage the electrical components inside. Your AC unit is most likely to be damaged if the floodwater reaches a foot deep. Still, if the system has flooded at all, reach out to Fras-Air/General Service Experts at 908-448-2154 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has happened or is likely to take place, follow these steps to avoid hurting your air conditioner or making dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with anything. A plastic sheet won’t repel water. Instead, it will trap moisture inside, encourage rust, encourage mold growth and give animals an area to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone location, research installing your air conditioner on a high floor. This elevates the unit above potential floodwaters and can save you trouble and expense following the next downpour.
Another approach to protect your air conditioning system is to install a retaining wall around it. This structure can help you avoid air conditioner flooding, even as water surges around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the system when you know a storm is on the way.
If hail is predicted, you can lay pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the wood down safely with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t use your air conditioner while it’s flooded with water. Doing so can result in an electrical shock hazard or potentially damage the internal system components.
To avoid this damage, disconnect the power to the AC and thermostat. The easiest method for accomplishing this is to go to the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and flip them to the “off” position. If you require assistance, call an air conditioning service company like Fras-Air/General Service Experts.
Once the rain subsides, you want your air conditioner to dry out swiftly. Draw away standing water, if possible, and remove any debris from the nearby area.
Don’t turn on the AC until it has been evaluated by an HVAC professional. Even after it has dried out, running flood-damaged equipment might cause the same hazards as switching on the air conditioning while it’s still underwater. Some issues take days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s smart to keep your air conditioning turned off until you get the all-clear from an HVAC professional.
While you wait for your technician to arrive, review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage covers your outdoor air conditioning system. If so, take pictures of the damage and submit your claim right away. If you don’t have flood insurance, you might still be covered if the system has suffered wind or hail damage.
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