Air conditioners are designed to withstand weather, like rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is flooded with standing water from a long downpour, this may seriously damage the electrical components in it. Your AC unit is most likely to suffer damage if the floodwater exceeds a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 540-302-8645 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has happened or is likely to occur, 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 keep out water. Instead, it will trap moisture inside, encourage rust, encourage mold growth and give critters a place to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone spot, research moving your air conditioner on an elevated platform. This elevates the equipment above potential floodwaters and can save you trouble and expense when you have to deal with the next downpour.
Another method to protect your air conditioning system is to place a retaining wall around it. This option can stop air conditioner flooding, even as water collects around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the unit when you know a storm is coming.
If hail is predicted, you can secure pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the boards down securely with stones or bricks in case the wind picks up.
Don’t turn on your AC while it’s flooded with water. Doing so can result in an electrical shock hazard or even destroy the internal system components.
To avoid these problems, disconnect the power to the air conditioning and thermostat. The fastest method for doing this is to locate the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and switch them to the “off” position. If you want help, get in touch with an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain moves on, you want your system to dry out quickly. Draw away standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t turn on the system until it has been evaluated by an HVAC technician. Even after it has dried out, operating flood-damaged equipment may pose the same hazards as turning on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some troubles need days or weeks to begin having symptoms, so it’s wise to keep your unit turned off until you receive the go-ahead from an HVAC pro.
While you wait for your technician to arrive, review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage secures your outdoor AC system. If so, take stock of the damage and process your claim right away. If you don’t have flood insurance, you could still be covered if the air conditioner has suffered wind or hail damage.
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