Managing Your HVAC System

What Happens When Your Air Conditioner Is Exposed To Floodwater?

The actual split of a split system air conditioner is between the indoor, wall-mounted portion of the unit, and the outdoor section, which is usually on the ground outside. The outdoor section is designed to be exclusively outside, 24/7. As such, it's built to last. The outdoor component is intended to be weather-resistant and can withstand a wide variety of different weather conditions on an ongoing basis. It's not, however, weatherproof. If you experience flooding that leads to your split system AC's outdoor unit remaining in standing water, is it still safe to use?

Water Stagnation

Standing water (also called water stagnation) occurs when the underlying ground has exceeded its drainage capacity and cannot absorb any further moisture. Excess water then remains on the surface of the ground, pooling depending on the contours of that ground. Weather-induced flooding can be compounded by nearby bodies of water. Whatever the cause, it's not great when the outdoor component of a split system air conditioner is in standing water for any length of time. And it's not as though you can easily mop up the water around the unit. 

Deactivate the Unit

Standing water will eventually drain, even though it might be a slow process taking place over several days. This drainage doesn't automatically mean that your AC is safe to use. In the interest of your family's safety, it's important to deactivate the unit. It may have an outside electrical socket, and touching this socket can pose a risk of electric shock. Go to your home's circuit breaker box. Ideally, the individual switches inside the breaker box will be labeled, and all you'll need to do is deactivate the switch that regulates your home's heating and cooling system. Contact an electrician if you're unsure how to proceed.

AC Repair

Even if you don't need to call an electrician for assistance, you'll definitely need to call a company that provides AC repair. It's absolutely essential that you don't operate your AC unit until it has been professionally assessed. The waterlogged elements of the unit can malfunction and may pose a fire hazard. The outdoor component of your split system AC can contain a heating coil, a compressor, and a venting fan, so it's not as though this component only provides simple air intake. 

Any waterlogged electrical components may need to be replaced, but hopefully, the unit's other moving parts can resume operation after adequate drying time. In some circumstances, the entire outdoor component must be replaced. Please remember that professional assessment is critical if your AC is exposed to flooding.

Contact a local company to learn more about AC repair.