Air conditioners are built to endure weather, such as rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is immersed in standing water from a large downpour, this could seriously damage the electrical components inside. Your cooling is most likely to be damaged if the floodwater exceeds a foot deep. Still, if the equipment has flooded at all, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 919-578-4329 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has taken place or is likely to happen, follow these directions to avoid damaging your air conditioner or creating 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, cause mold growth and give critters a place to hide.
If you live in a flood-prone location, consider placing your air conditioner on an elevated stand. This elevates the machinery 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 equipment is to create a retaining wall around it. This option can help you avoid air conditioner flooding, even as water collects around it. Similarly, you can stack sandbags around the equipment when you realize a storm is coming.
If hail is predicted, you can lay pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to protect it from hail damage. Weigh the plywood down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind gets stronger.
Don’t turn on your AC while it’s flooded with water. Doing so could result in an electrical shock hazard or potentially damage the internal system components.
To skip these problems, turn off the power to the AC and thermostat. The easiest method for completing this is to find the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and switch them to the “off” position. If you want a second opinion, call an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain moves on, you want your air conditioner to dry out as soon as possible. Remove standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the surrounding area.
Don’t start the system until it has been inspected by an HVAC technician. Even after it has dried out, utilizing flood-damaged equipment may pose the same hazards as using the air conditioning while it’s still underwater. Some troubles take days or weeks to begin revealing symptoms, so it’s smart to keep your air conditioning turned off until you have the go-ahead from an HVAC technician.
While you wait for your service visit, go over your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage protects your outdoor air conditioning system. If so, take stock of the damage and present your claim quickly. If you don’t have flood insurance, you could still be covered if the unit has sustained wind or hail damage.
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