Air conditioners are constructed to withstand precipitation, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is flooded with standing water from a long downpour, this could seriously damage the electrical components within. Your air conditioner is most likely to get damaged if the floodwater reaches a foot deep. Still, if the unit has flooded at all, reach out to Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 613-817-1591 for an air conditioning inspection.
If bad flooding has happened or is likely to take place, follow these directions to avoid hurting your air conditioner or generating dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with a tarp. A plastic sheet won’t protect it from water. Instead, it will trap moisture inside, lead to rust, hasten mold growth and give animals a place to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone area, research installing your air conditioner on a high base. This elevates the system above possible 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 place a retaining wall around it. This option can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water rises around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the system when you are alerted a storm is on the way.
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 securely with stones or bricks in case the wind begins gusting.
Don’t use your AC while it’s submerged in water. Doing so can lead to an electrical shock hazard or even destroy the internal system components.
To prevent these problems, turn off the power to the AC and thermostat. The easiest method for doing this is to find the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and flip them to the “off” position. If you require help, contact an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain moves on, you want your system to dry out as soon as possible. Remove standing water, if possible, and clean any debris from the nearby area.
Don’t run the AC until it has been checked by an HVAC technician. Even after it has dried out, utilizing flood-damaged equipment could pose the same hazards as using the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some issues need days or weeks to begin having symptoms, so it’s ideal to keep your air conditioning turned off until you have the go-ahead from an HVAC technician.
While you wait for your appointment, review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage covers your outdoor AC system. If so, take pictures of the damage and submit your claim as soon as possible. If you don’t have flood insurance, you may still be covered if the system has experienced wind or hail damage.
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