Air conditioners are designed to withstand weather, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is immersed in standing water from a large downpour, this might severely 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 352-414-4006 for an air conditioning inspection.
If extreme flooding has occurred or is likely to happen, follow these instructions 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 draw moisture inside, encourage rust, hasten mold growth and give critters a spot to hide.
If you are in a flood-prone spot, research moving your air conditioner on a high base. This elevates the unit above any floodwaters and can save you hassle and expense after the next downpour.
Another way to care for your air conditioning system is to create a retaining wall around it. This option can prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water surges around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the unit when you realize a storm is coming.
If hail is expected, you can place pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to shield it from hail damage. Weigh the plywood down safely with stones or bricks in case the wind gets stronger.
Don’t use your AC while it’s submerged in water. Doing so could create an electrical shock hazard or possibly destroy the internal system components.
To avoid these issues, turn off the power to the AC and thermostat. The fastest method for doing this is to go to the HVAC and thermostat breakers in your junction box and flip them to the “off” position. If you want 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. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and pick up any debris from the surrounding area.
Don’t turn on the AC until it has been reviewed by an HVAC expert. Even after it has dried out, operating flood-damaged equipment might pose the same hazards as using the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some troubles need days or weeks to begin having symptoms, so it’s smart to keep your unit turned off until you have the go-ahead from an HVAC tech.
While you wait for your service visit, read through your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage secures your outdoor cooling system. If so, take photos 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 suffered wind or hail damage.
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