Flood Damaged HVAC in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew

HVAC Hurricane Checklist

Do Not Operate Your HVAC or Water Heater If Any Components Have Been Fully or Partially Submerged

HVAC Hurricane Checklist

Questions relating to flooded heating-cooling systems and water heaters arise whenever major flooding occurs. Homeowners often want to know what should be done with flood-damaged equipment. It’s important to note that flooded systems and components present a number of potentially serious health and/or safety issues, including, but not limited to the following items:

  • Silt and other contaminants potentially contained in floodwater can be deposited inside various controls or safety limits, affecting their accuracy and ability to operate properly. This can also be a very serious safety issue and under no circumstances should any system be operated in this condition.
  • Floodwater can have a severe adverse affect on copper and/or aluminum coils associated with central AC units, causing rapidly accelerated corrosion. This could potentially lead to premature failure and/or system refrigerant leaks. Additionally, compressors, plus electrical terminals and components may have been short-circuited. This can be a very serious safety issue, and under no circumstances should any central AC system be operated in this condition.
  • Ductwork that was exposed to floodwater unquestionably has residual contamination in the numerous crevices of the construction, seams, and connections of the components of the ducts themselves. Ducts with standing water should be removed immediately to mitigate any further potential damage or issues, such as mold or mildew.
  • Floodwater can often cause unseen damage to HVAC and water heating equipment that may cause a future safety issue or failure months or even years after the incident itself. Even components that appear to be unaffected may have sustained damage.

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HVAC equipment and water heaters that are subjected to floodwaters or other damage as a result of natural disaster are not covered by manufacturers’ warranties. Simply replacing individual affected components in flooded HVAC or water heating systems leaves much to risk, in addition to being an expensive and difficult procedure. As a result, Taylor Refrigeration recommends that any equipment or systems that has been exposed to floodwaters be removed and replaced with new equipment or systems.

Do not operate your system if any components have been fully or partially submerged in water until they have been inspected and all affected components and/or the equipment and systems have been replaced by a licensed, certified contractor.

In the midst of all the damage, many people are experiencing due to Hurriane Matthew, it important to document your damage. Contact your insurance agent or insurer as soon as possible to obtain a claim number. Keep a diary of all contacts and conversations with your insurer. Take photos of all the damage and obtain professional evaluations of the required work to restore you to healthy, safe operations.

If you need assistance from FEMA, you can apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov or by phone 800-621-3362. You will need to provide your social security number, address, contact number, insurance information, household income, bank routing number, and description of your losses.

Please feel free to contact Taylor Refrigeration with any additional questions you may have regarding this issue or call 904-289-2355. We will provide a full professional inspection and consultation by one of our certified specialists.