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What to do if a Flood damages your HVAC System

Water that comes from HVAC leaks and flooding can cause serious damage to your system. It can get into your pipes, ductwork, furnace, or air conditioner. Unchecked water can short your electrical components or can cause harmful corrosion.

Here are some key places throughout your HVAC system to look for signs of water damage, leaks and other water-related issues.


Drain Lines

Water is a natural part of your air conditioning system. As hot, humid air is cooled, it creates condensation on the evaporator coil. The condensation then drips down into the condensate pan, which is emptied outside through a drain line. Sometimes the drain line becomes clogged or damaged, which will cause HVAC leaks. Drain lines should be checked monthly to ensure they are clear and draining properly.



Some HVAC systems use a condensate pump to drain off any condensation the system may create. Water accumulated from condensation within the system collects into a reservoir. Once the reservoir fills to a certain point, the pump switches on and pushes the water out through a drain line. Leaks in the pump can cause water to drip and pool in the system, causing damage to its parts. If water cannot drain out due to a clog, a safety relay will be activated, and the system will shut down until the water is removed.


Furnaces and Fuel Pipes

Water from floods, hurricanes or other natural disasters can damage your pipes. If your HVAC system runs on a fuel like natural gas, propane or oil, you will need to have the pipes checked for damage. All the supply lines, gauges and valves in and around the furnace will need to be inspected to ensure no water has seeped inside. The water can cause corrosion, which can affect the system's performance and increase the potential for fires or explosions. Water-damaged furnaces and fuel lines will either need to be replaced or cleaned. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends decontaminating all components of your HVAC system before putting the system back into service. You can learn more about furnace service here


Air Conditioners and Refrigerant Lines

The compressor and refrigerant lines of your air conditioner are outside, so even if water doesn’t run into your building during a flood, your AC system is still at risk. Flood water can get into the electrical components of your compressor and cause a short, which will keep your system from running until it is fixed. It can also disturb the refrigerant lines, causing them to leak or become disconnected. The air conditioner should be completely dried out and disinfected before allowing it to run after it has been in a flood. If any standing water remains after the flood, it will have to be drained to keep your unit from corroding. If this happens we can help. Click here


Insulation and Ductwork

Insulation and air filters in your HVAC system will have to be replaced after a flood. These items are known to trap moisture, dirt, debris and other contaminants that make them unsafe after suffering water damage. The air ducts and vents will need to be checked for any dirt or debris that got inside during the flood or storm. The aluminum walls of the ductwork should be thoroughly disinfected with a quality disinfectant. A thorough Duct cleaning service can help. Click here


Checking your system regularly is the best prevention for water damage. Drains should be checked for debris or dirt that can cause them to clog. Look at your condensate pan and your pump and make sure they are properly draining. If you know a storm is approaching that could cause water damage, try covering your outdoor unit and turning your system off to protect its electrical components. If you suspect water damage, always consult an HVAC professional to ensure your system is being safely handled.  We at Air Conditioning Guys are ready to help serving our local community since 1951.


Get more Know How on managing your HVAC systems and components on our blogs.

Air Conditioning Guys is a full service indoor air comfort expert serving the local region since 1951 and the only one on the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) Board of Directors in California serving over 60,000 HVAC Contractor's issues across the country. Installation, Service, Repair, Maintenance and Air Duct Cleaning.

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