Your HVAC System and Flooding Part III: Preventing Flood Damage
In many cases, flood events are unexpected, making prevention of flood damage unlikely or impossible. However, there are times when weather events are approaching that are likely to result in flooding where you can take some preventative measures to avoid damage to your HVAC system.
Prevention Solution #1 - Shut off power to your HVAC system, remove sensitive electrical components and move them to a safer location on higher ground or in a high place in your home. Many homeowners will not have the necessary knowledge to do this if your provider has not specifically demonstrated how to do this safely with you. Therefore, this solution may require that you have your HVAC service provider come to your home to perform this task for you.
Prevention Solution #2 - If your HVAC system is one that is not ideal for solution #1, there is another solution you can try. Securely stack several layers of sandbags completely around your HVAC system, the way you would around areas of your home or along creeks and streams. While this solution may not prevent all damage, it can help reduce the extent of the damage sustained and thus reduce repair costs.
Prevention Solution #3 - While not exactly a physical action, make sure you understand fully what your homeowner's insurance covers with regard to flood damage and your HVAC system and what it doesn't. Many homeowner's insurance policies don't include any flood coverage at all and require you to purchase flood coverage separately. Don't wait until a major weather event or flood happens to discover that you don't have the level of coverage you assumed you did. Be proactive and make sure you have the homeowner's insurance coverage you need in the event of a flood.
The old saying is that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to your HVAC system, a relatively small amount of time invested in prevention can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars that can really make a difference should a flood - or any natural disaster - impact your home. Let Carolina Comfort Systems show you how.
Your HVAC System and Flooding Part II: What Repairs and Costs to Expect
If you are one of the homeowners who were fortunate enough to avoid damage to your HVAC system during the recent floods, you may be wondering what it would have cost if you had been among the thousands who needed repairs. Repair costs vary based on the type of HVAC system you have and the level of damage sustained.
Providing there are no punctures or other structural damage, the most common repair required after a flood incident will be electrical and often involves replacing the circuit board in the unit. Depending on the brand of your HVAC system and availability of the necessary part or parts, the average cost of replacing a circuit board will be between $150.00 to $500.00. Quotes can vary widely between providers so it pays to get quotes from at least three to four providers if you don't have a trusted provider already.
If you have ductwork that runs underneath your home, this is another cost you may have to contend with. If water has gotten into your duct system, you may have moisture and mold issues springing up. Because the length, access, and complexity of ductwork systems can vary so much, this repair cost is more difficult to estimate. Here again, it pays to get quotes from several reputable providers. Mold issues will get worse the longer they are left alone so this is one repair you definitely cannot afford to hesitate on.
If your HVAC system has sustained major structural damages like punctures or damage from debris, your trusted HVAC provider is the best equipped to assess the damages and determine if repairs are possible or if the system will need to be replaced. The best bet is to prevent the damage in the first place when possible. Carolina Comfort Systems can help you do that with a maintenance agreement. Give us a call today for details.
Your HVAC System and Flooding: What HVAC Systems and Components Can Survive a Flood?
With the recent flooding across the Grand Strand, many homeowners have found themselves facing some unexpected repairs to their HVAC system. There are choices you can make with regards to your HVAC system that can make a big difference should another flood occur. The most important thing to consider is the location of the electrical component closest to the ground. The lower the electrical component in your system, the less water it will take to cause major problems. Here are a few more handy tips on what can and can't survive a flood.
- Outdoor Air Conditioner Units - Most outdoor A/C units can withstand an average if 12-16 inches of flood water without major damage. The electrical components tend to be closer to the top of the unit instead of the bottom and most of the parts are made of metals like steel or copper that have been specially treated to withstand various types of weather.
- Heat Pump Condensing Units - Similar to outdoor A/C Units, heat pump condensing units are usually designed with outdoor weather in mind. Physical parts use materials and metals treated to endure many types of weather conditions. These units also tend to house the electrical components in the upper half of the unit, keeping it safe from damage in flood conditions.
- Gas Package Units - Gas package units or gas packs are units that combine your gas heat and electric air conditioner into one single unit, located outside the home or on the rooftop. If you choose a gas pack unit, location is crucial to surviving a flood event. Elevated or rooftop location of these units is strongly recommended. In gas pack units, the heat exchange and gas burners tend to be very close to the ground, making them extremely vulnerable to damage in a flood event.
While the type of flooding we've experienced recently in South Carolina was categorized as a once in a thousand years event, we do live in a sub-tropical and hurricane-prone region. Water is a fact of life here in the Grand Strand. When you add climate change into the equation, we can only guess how that will impact our weather in the years to come. Understanding what types of HVAC systems can and cannot survive floods can save you headaches and money in future events. If you have questions about your HVAC system, call Carolina Comfort Systems today, where your satisfaction is our guarantee!