Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have caused major devastation in parts of Texas, Florida, and other southeastern coastal states. As flood waters recede, homeowners and business owners will begin the cleanup and rebuilding process. And that means dealing with flood-damaged HVAC equipment.
Chiller Service Northwest suggests all HVAC industries take the safe route and replace all flood damaged equipment rather than trying to repair units. Below is a list of heating and cooling equipment for business owners to consider replacing on flood-damaged equipment.
Air Conditioning Systems: Air conditioning and heat pumps have power and control wiring that connects the indoor and outdoor parts of the system, as well as piping that is used to flow refrigerant through the system. If flood water has gotten into either of the indoor or outdoor units, there is a potential for refrigerant leaks. The system will then require major repair or full replacement.
Water Heating Systems: A water heater can run on water, gas, oil, or electricity. Regardless of which type of energy your heater uses, if it was exposed to flood water it should be replaced. Valves and controls can become destroyed during a flood, in any type of unit. Electric units, also contain thermostats that can corrode when wet. All units are packed with insulation that can become contaminated by flood water.
Ductwork: If your business has a central air system, it is important to check the condition of the ductwork after a major flood. You should not try to salvage duct insulation that has been in contact with flood water! Replacing the ductwork will stop any form of contamination from getting into your equipment. Once ductwork is contaminated by flood water it is it impossible to decontaminate. The ductwork itself will also need to be cleaned and dried.
Even if water heater components have been cleaned and the unit seems to operate properly, parts may corrode in the future. Although replacing all HVAC equipment will be very expensive, it’s just not worth taking the risk of keeping flood impacted equipment up and running.
Chiller Service Northwest recommends inspecting and replacing any flooded equipment be done by a qualified HVAC technician or professional.