At Engineered Air we get a lot of calls from clients in trouble. Recently a client over in Palm Beach County called after burst pipes flooded their apartment. The client was upset, as you can imagine, asking questions such as ‘What to do with the AC unit?’ ‘Will it be okay?’ ‘Can you help?’ We had a technician call to the apartment that day.
You don’t always expect a flood, and even after preparing for one, you may still get a lot of damage to your property. AC units are vulnerable to water damage, even ones on the higher floors. A fully working AC system is crucial to drying your home after a flood, but beware of the potential issues too.
Among the issues your AC unit might have after a flood would be:
- Corrosion to the electrical units
- Mold in the ducts and filters
- Dirt in the coils
- What to do before and after a flood
Let’s take a closer look at each point.
Corrosion to the electrical units
Your AC unit is a collection of electrical parts which work to keep you cool and your home feeling fresh. Very important here in South Florida.
The AC unit may run fine after a flood, but there may be problems lurking inside, which will only get worse. Damp can quickly corrode an electrical unit and cause it to malfunction. The AC may not get down to the temperature you like, or it may take longer than usual to get there.
You can’t stop water, a wise man once said to me, and it will seep far into an AC unit. The condenser fan motor will need particular attention, as it is vital to the workings of the AC. Often the residue when the flood subsides does more damage than the water itself.
A trained technician will test and clean the AC unit entirely, making sure your AC is working as it should do in your home.
Mold in the ducts and filters
This is a real problem for homeowners and one which can do a lot of damage to the health of the family. The flood water may be contaminated leaving bacteria behind as the water evaporates. The bacteria forms mold, which gathers in the ducts and filters. A significant issue, as the bacteria-filled air will spread quickly around the home when you run the AC unit.
If you do not get a professional technician to clean the ducts and filters, you may be filling the home with dangerous particles when running the AC unit.
Dirt in the coils
Dirt can also gather in the coils of the AC unit. This will coat the coils, making them less efficient in cooling the air. You may also see higher electricity bills; the more the unit needs to run, the more it will cost you. Not good in our South Florida climate, where we run our AC a lot.
Even if the coils are clean, they will still be doing a lot of work after a flood. The coils take the moisture out of the air. Running the unit after the flood will mean a lot of excess water in the drip pan beneath the coils. Remember to empty the pan regularly after the flood, as the air in your home will be very humid for a while.
A technician will clean the coils but ask about emptying the drip pan.
Refrigerant is a chemical in your AC unit which cools the air. It is sealed into the condenser coils and is dangerous to human health if it escapes. Flood damage may cause a leak.
Checking for refrigerant leak will be top of any technicians list, when doing a test run of the AC unit. It may leak from a tiny hole, a damaged seal or a hairline crack on the coil. Not only will the unit not run properly but you may be putting toxic chemicals into the air of your home.
What to do before and after a flood
Turn off the unit and disconnect it from the power before the flood, as there will be a lot less damage to the electrical components when it is not running. If you are not sure how to do so, then call a technician.
Do not run the unit after the flood. Call our technicians first and tell them how long the unit was in the water, how much of the unit was submerged and if the unit was running.
Prevention is the best cure for flood damage to your AC unit.
We have the experience to deal with all forms of flood damage.
Our technicians will assess your unit and tell you fully what you need to do.
Do not turn on the AC unit after a flood.
Schedule one of our technicians to come first.