After storms, heavy rain or hurricanes, we want to encourage homeowners to take the proper safety precautions when it comes to their home’s heating and cooling systems. Basements or houses that are exposed to standing water can cause severe damage to your home’s water heater, furnace, boiler, air conditioner, ventilation and heat pump system, which leaves your family open to some huge risks.
Protect Your Family from Mold and Mildew
If your air conditioning unit sat under water for any period of time, it’s dangerous to turn it on before it has been cleaned and sanitized—sometimes even replaced. During flooding, dirt, muck, debris and microorganisms seep in to your HVAC equipment, so whether or not your air conditioner was under water may not matter, it still might have bacteria and mold spores growing on it. All components of your HVAC systems that were contaminated with flood water must be thoroughly inspected, cleaned of dirt, and disinfected before being operated again.
What Will the Technician Do When He Gets There?
The tech will have his work cut out for him repairing and replacing your damaged hardware while keeping his workers and your family safe. Remember to NOT turn on your air conditioner or heater even if the electrical company gives you the go ahead because if dirt got in to your system you will be blowing dirty air around your house and may be contaminating clean areas.
The tech will then remove all flood contaminated insulation– all wet insulation has to be replaced. The HVAC filter will also have to be replaced. He will then clean and disinfect all flood contaminated components of your system as well as filter racks, drain pans, air ducts and other places where debris often collects.
The technician will tell you if he finds other components that cannot be cleaned or disinfected and must be replaced.
If your system is so lost that it cannot longer function, please heed the advice of your technician and replace the system. It may not become apparent for up to a year, but corrosion, mold growth and system disrepair are serious health concerns for your family.
Look at the tragedy as a way to update your system to a more energy efficient model, that will save you money in the long run on energy bills.
Make sure that the air conditioner or heater runs steadily at a normal rate for 48 to 72 hours before occupying the building again. Your home or office should not smell musty or questionable after that period of time- and if it does, go ahead and look for other flood damaged areas. Make sure to change the filters after the 72 hours before anyone occupies the building. Ask your technician to come back after a week or so to make sure everything is operating properly—make sure he checks your air filters and replaces them if necessary.
We urge you to sign up for routine maintenance for your HVAC system so we can come inspect your hardware as often as necessary. Keep your family safe and sound after a flood by keeping the air they’re breathing clean, fresh and cool!