Your air conditioning unit is one of the things at home that keeps you and your family comfortable. The Florida climate can be too hot and humid, and it’s a good thing that our air conditioners keep us from all the heat and sweat. You probably cannot imagine a Florida home without any A/C installed!
With the years of use, your A/C unit might have incurred problems or damages along the way, and all of a sudden it might just stop. It would be a bad thing for the breakdown to occur in the middle of a hot day! When this happens, though, you might find yourself wondering if you should take your A/C for repair or just purchase another one. Don’t worry; we’re here to help you out!
AC Repair or AC Replacement?
After a flood, is it preferable to repair or replace the HVAC system? In other instances, you may not have a choice. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, for instance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency forced replacement, not repair, of HVAC systems in more than 25,000 flooded houses. Your insurance company and the professional heating and conditioning contractor who will check your system will also have an opinion.
Not all floodwaters are the same, and none of them are clean and spotless. In Southwest Florida’s coastal region, the threat of a hurricane storm surge includes the possibility of seawater inundation. After a flood, the majority of HVAC specialists and/or your insurance would likely advise replacement rather than repair of your HVAC system. Regardless of the cause, heating and cooling equipment should not be run or have power restored until it has been inspected by a certified HVAC professional after flooding. Here are some considerations:
What To Do With Your HVAC System After a Flood?
1. Never try to start your HVAC system again.
Trying to use it before it has been repaired could result in irreversible harm because appearances can be deceiving.
2. Call a reliable technician.
To arrange for a technician to visit as soon as feasible, contact your neighborhood HVAC firm. After a flood, it is a good idea to get your HVAC checked out by a qualified expert even if it appears to be in good condition. Each instance of flood damage to your HVAC system is evaluated separately.
Your expert will be able to tell you the amount of the damage and whether you need to replace the damaged parts or repair the system as a whole. They will ask a lot of questions about the equipment flooding. It is advantageous to have the data available.
Air conditioners and flood waters don’t combine. Residential components are exposed to flooding due to their ground installation. Deep enough floodwater immersion could short-circuit and ruin 240-volt electrical components in outdoor A/C components. In addition, it might be exposed to currents that could destroy refrigerant lines and knock the unit out of place. If water gets inside the compressor, it is probably not financially possible to repair it; instead, a new system should be installed.
Exposure to water, especially corrosive salt water, weakens the integrity of gas-fired furnace components such as burners, gas valves, and heat exchangers. The blower motor, for example, is not water-resistant and will sustain permanent damage upon contact.
Typically, HVAC ducting that passes through low places like the basement or crawl space is flooded. Because water awakens latent mold spores, hazardous mold growth inside ducts is probably to be expected after flooding. To access and dry the ducts and then use cleaning and disinfection methods to stop mold growth, professional servicing is standard. Insulated ducts that are saturated are assumed to be unsalvageable.
Expected Questions from Your HVAC Technician
What to Expect During the Assessment?
To fully assess the extent of the damage you are dealing with, the expert who comes out to examine your system will require access to several components of your HVAC system. Your HVAC system has a lot of moving parts, so replacing the equipment is typically a better option. Finding an expert specialist is typically less expensive because it is important to know whether the damaged parts are simple to replace. They’ll be aware of what to search for and what can be saved.
Knowing what the technician will need to see and do when they visit your system to inspect it after a flood is ideal.
Once they arrive, the technician will want to inspect the outdoor unit. Any item exposed to flood water needs to be inspected because it occasionally contains foreign substances and debris. If a condenser coil is exposed, it might not perform as intended. If it isn’t changed, your system might sustain further harm. Additionally, any exposed pipes and wires run the risk of breaking when you restart your system. Before you do that, you should get these locations inspected to limit future harm. Additionally, the technician will make sure the unit did not move during the storm. Your refrigerant system might be harmed by even the slightest movement. Major repairs will probably be needed for this.
Why Does He Want to Check the Inside Equipment When the Flood is Outside?
It is to verify that no flooding breach allowed water to get to your interior equipment. Internal components are more susceptible to flood damage. If your unit uses natural gas, the system’s valves are very delicate. If corrosion is not handled, it can cause both immediate operational harm and long-term reliability problems. These problems are difficult to spot and should be examined by an experienced technician.
It is not advisable to recover the ducting that is submerged in water. It is almost impossible to predict whether decontaminating it after flooding will be enough. You should be informed that the ducting will need to be entirely removed if your specialist does recommend decontamination.
An inexpensive investment in the big scheme of things is replacing an aging water heater. Water heaters have advanced considerably in recent years. It would be more efficient to replace your unit if it were older than five years. You will continue to save money because of this. Your technician will want to check the valves and controls to ensure there is no flooding. Even if it appears clean, exposed metal can corrode more quickly in the future.
What Should You Do If Your HVAC System Or Crawlspace Floods During The Hurricane?
Being a homeowner during a storm and wondering what kind of damage will be there when it passes is one of the worst experiences. Additionally, a flooded HVAC system is nearly unimaginably horrible.
This manual was created by Comfort First as a resource to assist you in troubleshooting your flooded or storm-damaged system. If you think your system could need repair or replacement, read our article on the 6 Safe Steps to Address a Flooded System and give us a call. We’ll even assist you in negotiating the specifics with your insurance provider!
To safely address a flooded HVAC system, follow the 6 steps listed below:
1. The electrical breaker that supplies your entire home's HVAC system should be shut off.
There will typically be one inside component for every outside unit you have. The breaker in the panel needs to have an A/C, HP, air handler, gas furnace, etc. label.
2. Gas furnaces and gas package units should have their gas supply turned off.
Normally, the piece of equipment will be close to a gas shut-off.
3. Verify the outdoor HVAC system.
Additionally, outside HVAC equipment has electrical and gas connections that will be damaged by water immersion. Both high and low voltage circuits, as well as refrigerant pipework, are used to supply these exterior units in a split system installation. These circuits may come unconnected from their connections or the refrigeration pipework may break, allowing the refrigerant to leak if the units are relocated or shifted by flood waters.
4. In your crawlspace, check the electrical HVAC system components.
Numerous electrical and gas components in the HVAC equipment that is installed beneath your house don’t work effectively when they are damp. Gas systems feature valves and controls that may malfunction if flooded, and electrical components are susceptible to shorting out and failure. Do not try to turn your equipment back on if it is submerged in water at any point during the storm. You can sustain more damage as well as an electrical injury or perhaps pass away. Before attempting to restart your system, have one of our licensed HVAC service specialists examine it.
5. Examine the ductwork in your crawl space.
When ductwork under flooded homes becomes damp, it may turn into a haven for bacteria, mold, and mildew. It is impossible to disinfect ductwork insulation after it has been wet.
Because of this, any section of your duct system that is damaged by water or floods “MUST BE” replaced in order to keep bacteria-filled air from entering your home. Get in touch with Comfort First Heating & Cooling! If this occurs in your house, we will help you decide what to do next.
6. To navigate the insurance claim procedure, contact a reputable HVAC company.
Your house insurance coverage will likely cover many of the HVAC concerns caused by flooding. Understand the coverage and exclusions of your plan. This does not have to be done by you alone. Comfort First is available to assist. Before approving your insurance claim, the majority of insurance companies want a proposal of the work that has to be done.
By contacting Caloosa Cooling first, one of our project managers will arrive, evaluate the damage, and present a polished plan that you can quickly and easily submit to your insurance provider. After this inspection, which should last between 60 and 90 minutes, you’ll have a suggestion to provide to your insurance provider that will enable you to restart your air conditioning and heating system as soon as feasible.
After the most recent storm of the season, if you think your HVAC system and/or crawlspace were flooded and require an inspection or repair, call our skilled professionals at Caloosa Cooling right once.
How to Process Insurance Claims?
1. Start Your Claim
Inform your insurance agent or company as soon as possible if your property has flooded. You will be partnered with an insurance adjuster for the duration of the claims procedure. Within a few days, the adjuster will call to schedule a time to physically or virtually inspect your home. Ask whether you can get a payment in advance. The final claim payout is reduced by advance payments.
2. Prepare the Evidence of Your Loss
When it is safe, go back home. Take as many pictures and videos as you can of your food-damaged house and personal items, including any food water lines that are present both inside and outside the building.
3. Start the Cleanup
To show your adjuster, keep samples of the food-damaged goods, such as carpet and other flooring, curtains, etc. Throw away any food with health risks after documenting the damaged products with photos and videos.
4. Talk With Your Adjustor
Ask to see their Flood Control Number (FCN) card and other forms of official identification when you meet with your food insurance adjuster. As you submit an estimate for your covered loss, your adjuster will offer suggestions and collaborate with you. Ask the adjuster any questions you may have to make sure you receive all the compensation you are due for your loss. When you have the adjuster’s written estimate and report, check it over to make sure it’s accurate and comprehensive. Never give the insurance adjuster cash; instead, get you a price for their services or a deductible amount.
5. Get Payment
The amount of your claim payment will depend on the supporting materials you submit and the scope of your policy. You are in charge of providing the evidence necessary to substantiate your claim and meeting all deadlines. To discuss any disputed cost or coverage issue with a claims examiner, get in touch with the claims department at your food insurance provider if you still have questions or more damage to report. It can be beneficial to consult with general contractors and obtain estimates from them.
TYour claim cheque will be made payable to both you and the mortgage company if you have one.
Trust Our Team For Your HVAC Needs
Caloosa Cooling is the HVAC contractor you can rely on for air conditioning system repair in Fort Myers or air conditioning replacement in Southwest Florida. With the help of our energy-efficient heating and cooling services, we always keep our clients happy.
Your complete pleasure is guaranteed while working with Caloosa Cooling’s highly skilled and experienced specialists. We provide individualized solutions for a variety of AC issues in addition to round-the-clock emergency services to handle your needs whenever you need them.