Post Flood Management and Repair of Your HVAC System
After a terrible storm, the first thing on anyone’s mind is post-flood management and repairing your HVAC system. After a flood, there’s a lot of work that goes into making a home safe and habitable again. Your HVAC system can be loaded with bacteria and microorganisms which are carried in the flood water. Particularly, the HAV system requires either total replacement or major remediation so that the air in the home is pure again and healthy to breathe.
Water and electricity are not a good combination. If simply stated, your heating and cooling system was not designed to operate in or under water. Flooding either due to excessive rainfall or hurricanes can cause varying degrees of damage to the HVAC system.
So, What Happens To Your HVAC System Post Flood?
During the flood, if the unit was running, then there might be some damage to the electrical components. There’s a chance that the fuse and the wiring may have malfunctioned when it came in contact with water.
Typically, floodwater is made up of debris, grime, and dirt. If this ‘dirty’ water if left unprotected and comes in contact with the condenser coil, then the efficiency level of the equipment reduces. Also, this can also result in premature failure.
The floods cause water damage to natural gas furnaces. It may lead to corrosion which usually begins inside the controls, electrical components, and valves. The outcome of this type of damage is long-term reliability problems.
So, Should I start my HVAC system after a flood?
After the water is drained, your HVAC system might look the same as before the flood, but there may be serious issues and concerns that you might not have noticed. The system is also prone to the production of microorganisms, bacteria which settles in the fans, ductwork and other parts of your HVAC system.
The impact of the flood on the system might be unknown, so it’s best to wait until a qualified HVAC technician performs a full inspection.
Your First Steps
If your home was flooded, the first thing you should do is to have a licensed electrician or qualified emergency responder declare the home to be safe. The major problem is of electrocution associated with standing water.
If you want to clean right away, mark the high water line on your furnace and air conditioner. It will help the technician to assess which components were submerged quickly.
There are some serious health hazards involved, and that’s why AHRI and CDC insist that all the work should be undertaken by HVAC professionals who are trained and possess a license.
- Suppose the HVAC and the air duct units don’t need replacing, ensure you remove and dispose the flooded insulation along with any HVAC filters that are part of the HVAC system.
- According to the CDC, the system needs to be completely disinfected and cleaned. The remaining dirt and debris need to be vacuumed out of the unit and air ducts using special vacuums.
- After the debris is cleared, the surface needs to be wiped down with disinfectant to ensure that any remaining microorganisms are killed. To do so, it would require the ductwork to be completely taken apart, cleaned, disinfected and then to be put back together.
- Trained professionals are hired to make sure that the cleaning is done in a manner such that the system doesn’t get re-contaminated. It’s best to hire hvac contractor in jacksonville for a thorough job.
- After disinfecting the system, all parts need to be rinsed with clean water. Even the fan. It needs to be taken out and thoroughly disinfected, cleaned, dried out and tested to ensure it runs well before you fix it back in place.
- Phew, lastly, once the system’s cleaning and rebuilding id one, insulation and filters need to be replaced. The system should be examined by a trained professional.
During this season, the system needs to arrive at the desired temperature. By checking the odor and air quality, you can tell if the system is following the indoor air-quality standard. If there is any persistent issue, you need to re-inspect the HVAC system and get it properly cleaned and flushed to a point such that the air quality improves.
Restoring your home’s HVAC system after flooding can be a bit much on your wallet. But if you have home insurance which has natural disaster policy, it may pay for the restoration of your home’s HVAC.
Although we hope you never have to experience a flood, in the event you do, make sure you immediately reach out to trained and licensed HVAC technicians. If flood water contaminates your HVAC system, pick up your phone and call a licensed HVAC technician to restore and repair it the right way. After all, your family’s health depends on it!
Guest Contributor, Jessica Miller