Air conditioners are constructed to endure precipitation, such as rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is flooded with standing water from a large downpour, this might seriously damage the electrical components inside. Your cooling is most likely to suffer damage if the floodwater reaches a foot deep. Still, if the system has flooded at all, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 440-252-1375 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has happened or is likely to occur, follow these steps to avoid harming your air conditioner or making dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with a tarp. A plastic sheet won’t keep out water. Instead, it will trap moisture inside, encourage rust, hasten mold growth and give animals a spot to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone area, consider placing your air conditioner on an elevated base. This elevates the system above any floodwaters and can save you stress and expense when you have to deal with the next downpour.
Another approach to protect your air conditioning unit is to build a retaining wall around it. This technique can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water rises around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the system when you realize a storm is coming.
If hail is expected, you can lay pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to protect it from hail damage. Weigh the wood down safely with stones or bricks in case the wind gets stronger.
Don’t turn on your AC while it’s surrounded by water. Doing so can lead to an electrical shock hazard or possibly ruin the internal system components.
To skip this damage, switch off the power to the AC and thermostat. The easiest method for doing this is to go to the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and flip them to the “off” position. If you need assistance, contact an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain moves on, you want your air conditioner to dry out quickly. Draw away standing water, if possible, and remove any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t turn on the AC until it has been evaluated by an HVAC technician. Even after it has dried out, using flood-damaged equipment may pose the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still submerged in water. Some troubles require days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s best to keep your air conditioner turned off until you have the all-clear from an HVAC pro.
While you wait for your technician to arrive, read through your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage covers your outdoor cooling system. If so, take photos of the damage and process your claim quickly. If you don’t have flood insurance, you may still be covered if the system has sustained wind or hail damage.
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