hvac-flooding

How Severe Weather Can Affect
Residential Heating and Cooling


Simply stated, your heating and cooling system was not designed to operate in or under water.

If your property was flooded, it is highly recommended that you have a qualified HVAC technician inspect your home’s heating and cooling system.

Should I start my HVAC system after a flood?


Appearances can be deceiving. Although your outdoor unit might look the same as it did prior to a flood, there may be serious issues and safety concerns that are not obvious to the untrained eye. Given the unknown conditions that the unit suffered, it is highly recommended that you do not start your HVAC system before a qualified HVAC technician performs a full inspection.


icon_new_150

Replace, Don’t Repair


HVAC systems are designed and engineered to operate under certain conditions — under water is not one of those conditions. Because so many heating and cooling components may be affected by floodwater, it's usually the better choice to replace your HVAC equipment that has been impacted by a flood.

Your licensed professional HVAC technician can determine whether a heating and cooling system should be replaced. Every home’s circumstance and HVAC system requires a case-by-case professional assessment.

If the unit was under a minimum amount of water and the damage was contained to an easy-to-replace component, then your licensed professional HVAC technician may suggest a repair. However, your licensed professional HVAC technician will make specific recommendations on your system’s particular circumstances.



icon_AC_150

How a flood may impact my outdoor HVAC equipment


Split air conditioning and heat pump systems have electronic wiring between the indoor and outdoor parts of the system, a condenser coil, and piping that moves the refrigerant from inside to the outside of the home and back.

If the unit was running when flooding occurred, electrical components may be damaged. Fuses, wiring and circuits may malfunction and components may short out when contacted with water. When dealing with electricity, it is best to put safety first and have your HVAC equipment professionally inspected.

Flood water is filled with dirt, grime and debris that may adhere to the condenser coil. If the condenser coil was exposed to floodwaters, the equipment’s designed efficiency level may be severely reduced. A dirty, inefficient coil may also lead to premature failure given the extra effort required to heat or cool your home.

If flood water has re-positioned either the indoor or outdoor units of a split system by only a small amount, there is the potential for a breached refrigerant system. The heat pump (or air conditioning system) will most likely require major repair or full replacement.

 

icon_gas furnace_150

How a flood may impact my indoor HVAC equipment?


If there is any question whether flood water has reached your indoor HVAC equipment, have the system checked by a licensed professional HVAC technician.

Natural gas furnaces have valves and controls that may be vulnerable to water damage from floods.  Damage may not be easy to detect, especially if the outside of the device is clean and dry. Corrosion may begin inside the valves, electrical components and controls, which is not immediately apparent or visible. At a minimum, this type of damage can result in immediate operational and long-term reliability problems.



icon_ductwork_150

What about my ductwork?


If you have a forced-air HVAC system that has experienced flood damage, pay attention to your ductwork. Ductwork that has been in contact with flood water should not be salvaged.  It is extremely difficult to decontaminate ductwork that has been exposed to flood water or other related conditions. It should be replaced. Doing a thorough job will require disassembling the ductwork. These ductwork repairs may also give your contractor the opportunity to properly seal ductwork joints and improve insulation.



What will a licensed professional HVAC technician do after a flood?


After the flood waters have subsided, contact a licensed professional HVAC technical for an inspection. All inspection and replacement work on flooded equipment should be performed by qualified heating and cooling technician, not by the homeowner. Be sure to tell your technician about the depth of water that flooded your property and/or home, how long the unit was under water, and if the unit was running when the flood occurred. Depending on the circumstances, your HVAC technician may:

  • Clean flood-residue from coils
  • Inspect the heating and cooling system electrical components
  • Check all electrical and refrigeration connections for both indoor and outdoor units, including all control circuits
  • Clean, dry, and disinfect the refrigerant system if it remained intact
  • Inspect gas valves and ductwork
  • Identify a component that needs repair
  • Recommend a system replacement

Necessary flood inspection steps may vary based on the individual circumstances. Additionally, licensed professional HVAC technicians will make specific recommendations for restoring your indoor comfort on a case-by-case basis.


Goodman Service Bulletin: Considerations when dealing with flood damaged HVAC systems.
Download Here