As a homeowner, you’re very aware of the costs that are associated with keeping your household running smoothly. However, even if you budget for everything and try to be as prepared as possible, some big-ticket items may be a source of aggravation when you realize they’ve been damaged. And one of the bigger components of anyone’s home is the air conditioner. What can you do if it’s been damaged by flooding? Can you repair it, or will you have to invest in a new system?
What to Do for a Flood Damaged Air Conditioner
Air conditioners are designed to withstand severe weather conditions. However, if the condenser unit (the part that sits outside your home) remains partially submerged in standing water, it can stop working altogether. If floodwaters enter your home and contact the interior portions of your AC, there’s a higher chance of damage. But, before you freak out about it, be aware that there are several things you can do to try to minimize losses.
- Turn off power at the breaker panel. Failing to do so could cause further damage to the unit, as well as put you and your family in danger. Once it’s off at the breaker, also shut it off on the thermostat. Make sure to disable any battery backups, so that your AC receives no voltage. In addition, turn off power in every area of your home that’s flooded, as well as fuel supply and gas.
- Inspect the exterior area for loose wires. Do not step into standing water if you can see any fallen electric lines or disconnected wires from your air conditioner.
- Remove debris floating around the air conditioner. Leaves, branches, bugs, and dirt can fall on the unit and clog it, blocking the airflow. During a flood, there’s a higher likelihood of additional items getting stuck on the side panels of the condenser unit.
- Remove any coverings. If you had covered the unit with a tarp to protect it from a tropical storm or hurricane, remove it to allow the system to air out. If the water has receded, get the air conditioner as dry as possible.
- Check your homeowner’s insurance policy. Be aware that standard homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance policies typically don’t cover damage to personal property or appliances, unless you’ve voluntarily chosen to add it on.
- Check for corrosion on wires. If the floodwaters have subsided, visually inspect the unit to see if there’s any corrosion or damage to wires. If so, they will need to be repaired or replaced ASAP to avoid any fire hazards. Do not touch any of the wires yourself.
- Leave the air conditioner turned off. Even after the standing water evaporates, do not turn the unit back on until an HVAC technician can inspect it. Even if it looks like it’s fully dry, it may still have wet components inside, which may cause additional damage to your unit, electrocution, or a fire in your home.
Will you have to buy a new air conditioner?
This depends on the circumstances. An HVAC technician may be able to repair damaged portions of the air conditioner, as well as replace parts and clean the coils. That said, if the damage is extensive, you may need to purchase a new system.
If You Have Any HVAC Issues in Central Florida, We Can Help
At Complete Air Mechanical, we have experienced HVAC professionals who can help you restore or replace your air conditioner. We provide service in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia counties, and we offer financing options.