What to Do About Flooded Heating and Air Conditioning Equipment
Before attempting to salvage or operate water-damaged HVAC equipment, make safety your first priority. Flood water and heavy electrical equipment like air conditioners are a serious safety hazard. So err on the side of personal safety when performing flood clean-up.
First, consider the following to determine if your heating and cooling equipment is salvageable or needs to be replaced.
The amount of time the equipment was underwater;
Whether the electricity was on when the water flooded the unit; or
If the equipment is filled with dirt and debris.
Heavy rains and flooding can seriously affect heating and air conditioning equipment. When in doubt, always seek professional advice
from Service Experts or a locally trusted heating and cooling company. This is particularly important in a flood environment to ensure you do not become a victim of unethical, price-gouging contractors. You’ll often see many unscrupulous companies pop up after a storm to seduce homeowners into buying from them. Beware of anyone who does not offer you a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee and can't prove they have years of reliable service history behind them. Always ask for references, and if you don’t hear back from them, that’s an indication that they probably don’t have any.
If you determine the equipment does not need to be replaced, here are some tips to help ensure safe operation. For your own safety, first seek professional help for help with any of these items.
- Turn off all electrical switches and gas valves. Make sure to turn off all switches (i.e. disconnects and breakers) to the heating and cooling equipment. If your furnace or water heater was submerged, shut off gas valves to prevent exposure to leaking gas.
- Dry out the equipment. If the equipment was under water, open it up and allow air circulation to speed the drying process.
- Have equipment and wiring inspected. Do not turn on flooded equipment until you have it inspected and serviced by a qualified, NATE-certified technician. If there is debris present, call us or a qualified contractor to receive a system tune-up. A proper tune-up will include a complete inspection, cleaning and lubrication of the system.
- Don’t rush to reconnect. If the power company gives you approval to turn on the electricity in your home but you think you may have a problem with your heating and cooling equipment, call us to disconnect the equipment from the electrical source. The equipment may appear to be dry, but let the experts verify that is in fact functioning properly.
- Change all air and furnace filters to prevent fungus, insect or contaminant build up. If your heating equipment has been exposed to flood waters, it is very important you have your heating equipment checked for proper mechanical and safety operation, tuned-up and cleaned thoroughly.
Taking a proactive approach will help ensure your comfort and safety during extreme weather. Service Experts
can provide these and other simple safety tips, inspections and consultation to advise you on the proper course of action after flooding.