Air conditioners are designed to resist precipitation, including rain and snow. However, if your outdoor air conditioner is immersed in standing water from a torrential downpour, this can critically damage the electrical components within. Your air conditioner is most likely to be damaged if the floodwater rises above a foot deep. Still, if the equipment has flooded at all, call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning at 403-279-5760 for an air conditioning inspection.
If severe flooding has occurred or is likely to take place, follow these instructions to avoid harming your air conditioning or generating dangerous operating conditions.
Don’t cover your air conditioner with anything. A plastic sheet won’t repel water. Instead, it will bring moisture inside, promote rust, encourage mold growth and give animals a spot to hide.
If you live in a flood-prone area, research installing your air conditioner on a raised platform. This elevates the machinery above possible floodwaters and can save you stress 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 prevent air conditioner flooding, even as water surges around it. Similarly, you can place sandbags around the equipment when you realize a storm is approaching.
If hail is predicted, you can place pieces of plywood across the top of the air conditioner to guard it from hail damage. Weigh the boards down firmly with stones or bricks in case the wind begins gusting.
Don’t use your AC while it’s surrounded by water. Doing so can result in an electrical shock hazard or potentially destroy the internal system components.
To avoid these problems, switch off the power to the air conditioner and thermostat. The easiest 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 want assistance, call an air conditioning service company like Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning.
Once the rain eases off, you want your AC to dry out swiftly. Siphon off standing water, if possible, and clean any debris from the immediate area.
Don’t run the air conditioner until it has been checked by an HVAC professional. Even after it has dried out, using flood-damaged equipment can pose the same hazards as switching on the air conditioning while it’s still under the water. Some problems require days or weeks to begin showing symptoms, so it’s best to keep your air conditioner turned off until you have the okay from an HVAC technician.
While you wait for your appointment, review your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if flood damage covers your outdoor cooling system. If so, take pictures of the damage and process your claim as soon as possible. If you don’t have flood insurance, you might still be covered if the unit has experienced wind or hail damage.
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