Air conditioners are designed to withstand precipitation, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is immersed in standing water from a torrential downpour, this might critically damage the electrical components within. Your air conditioner is most likely to get damaged if the floodwater reaches a foot deep. Still, if the system has flooded at all, contact Service Experts Home Services by Enercare at 289-273-2229 for an air conditioning inspection.
If severe flooding has occurred or is likely to take place, follow these instructions to avoid hurting your air conditioner or making dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with a tarp. A plastic sheet won’t repel water. Instead, it will bring moisture inside, promote rust, encourage mold growth and give pests a spot to hide.
If you reside in a flood-prone location, research moving your air conditioner on a high base. This elevates the system above potential floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense when you have to deal with the next downpour.
Another approach to protect your air conditioning equipment is to place a retaining wall around it. This technique can help you avoid air conditioner flooding, even as water rises around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the unit when you realize a storm is approaching.
If hail is predicted, 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 gets stronger.
Don’t run your system while it’s surrounded by water. Doing so can lead to an electrical shock hazard or even ruin the internal system components.
To avoid these problems, turn off the power to the AC and thermostat. The fastest method for doing this is to locate the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and turn them to the “off” position. If you need help, contact an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Home Services by Enercare.
Once the rain eases off, you want your system to dry out as soon as possible. Draw away standing water, if possible, and clean 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 can pose the same hazards as using the air conditioning while it’s still underwater. Some problems require days or weeks to begin having symptoms, so it’s best to keep your unit turned off until you receive the go-ahead from an HVAC technician.
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 pictures of the damage and present your claim quickly. If you don’t have flood insurance, you may still be covered if the unit has sustained wind or hail damage.
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