Floodwaters will damage or destroy almost anything in its path, and a home or business HVAC system is no exception. Heating and Air Systems are designed to work in many types of weather from the extreme heat to the coldest winter temperatures, but they are not designed to operate in or under water.
Here are some things to keep in mind when assessing flooding effects to the HVAC system.
Assessing Damage to the HVAC After a Flood
- Do not turn the HVAC system on unless you are absolutely certain it has not been touched by flood waters. That goes for the outdoor compressor/condenser, the ductwork, as well as the indoor side of the unit, which includes the furnace, if flood waters reached the unit.
- As soon as it is safe, have an HVAC technician check out your system to ascertain whether it is damaged. The compressor may survive a few inches of water, but it is unlikely it will be functional if it was immersed deeply in water for any length of time. Damage to electronic components is likely, particularly if the unit was running when flooding occurred. Fuses, circuits and wiring may all malfunction after making contact with water.
- Flood water is very dirty. The dirt and other substances in the water could adversely affect the condenser coils.
- If flood waters moved the system, there may be a breach in the refrigerant system.
- Valves and controls in the furnace could be damaged by corrosion in flooding; that damage may not be apparent if the outer side of the device looks dry.
- If your ductwork has been in contact with flood water, have your HVAC professional inspect and assess the condition, in almost all cases it must be replaced.
Indoor Air Quality
Another issue to be aware of in any home or business that has flooded is the indoor air quality. In addition to destruction of walls and floors, flood waters and lingering dampness can present serious health risks.
For more on dealing with HVAC flooding to your home or business, contact Jackson and Sons of eastern North Carolina.