Air conditioners are designed to withstand weather, 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 in it. Your cooling is most likely to get damaged if the floodwater rises above a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 330-305-2799 for an air conditioning inspection.
If severe flooding has happened or is likely to happen, follow these instructions to avoid hurting your air conditioning 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, promote rust, cause mold growth and give animals an area to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone spot, research installing your air conditioner on an elevated platform. This elevates the system above any floodwaters and can save you trouble and expense after the next downpour.
Another method to safeguard your air conditioning system is to build a retaining wall around it. This technique can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water flows around it. Similarly, you can stack sandbags around the unit when you realize a storm is coming.
If hail is in the forecast, you can secure boards of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the plywood down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t use your AC while it’s surrounded by water. Doing so may result in an electrical shock hazard or even ruin the internal system components.
To avoid this damage, disconnect the power to the air conditioner and thermostat. The easiest 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, get in touch with 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. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and clean any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t turn on the air conditioner until it has been evaluated by an HVAC expert. Even after it has dried out, using flood-damaged equipment can cause the same hazards as switching on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some issues require days or weeks to begin having symptoms, so it’s smart to keep your air conditioning turned off until you get the all-clear from an HVAC pro.
While you wait for your appointment, go over your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage protects your outdoor cooling system. If so, take photos of the damage and submit your claim quickly. If you don’t have flood insurance, you could still be covered if the system has suffered wind or hail damage.
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