Shielding Your HVAC Unit From The Effects Of Floods And Storms
Floodwater can damage your HVAC by clogging the drain line, dirtying the air filter, and frying the electrical circuitry. Use these five measures to keep water out of your HVAC unit during a storm or flood:
Raise the Concrete Base
The HVAC unit typical sits atop a concrete base. Unfortunately, this concrete base is usually just a few inches above the ground, which permits floodwater to reach the unit. Therefore, raising the base is a good way of keeping floodwater out of the unit. Use The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps to gauge the frequency and height of floods in your local area to estimate how high the base should be.
Build a Wall around the Unit
Another useful option is to shield the unit from floodwater using a wall. The enclosed wall should be professionally installed to withstand the force of floodwater. Again, your local flood map will give you a rough idea of how high the wall should be to keep the floods out. Consult an HVAC technician for advice before building such a wall. The technician will advice you on space allowance for servicing the HVAC.
Cover the Unit
In most cases, flooding is often accompanied by storms. If that is the situation in your area, then you need to protect your HVAC unit from windblown water, and not just ground floodwater. Fortunately, covering the unit with a suitable material, such as a canvas tarp, will take care of windblown water. The cover will also keep away other windblown debris that may clog and damage your HVACs circuitry.
Install a Sump Pump
It is unfortunate that many people install HVAC units in the basement because this part of the house is usually the first to be affected during flooding. If you already have a unit in place, it may be expensive to relocate it to higher grounds. However, you can install a sump pump in the basement to detect and pump out water when flooding starts.
Locate the Unit on a Higher Floor
An HVAC unit doesn't have to be in the basement or on the ground floor. While relocating an existing unit to a higher floor may be expensive, you can relocate it if you are replacing your unit (for example due to age). You can also choose to install your unit on the first floor when constructing your house. That would guarantee that virtually no flood water will reach the HVAC.
Don't use your HVAC during or after a storm if you suspect that it has been affected by floodwater. Consult a technician, like Stone Heating And Air, to clean the unit and repair any electrical (and other faults) that the water may have caused.