April 6, 2023 Jeff Rosenblum
Every so often, we’re asked what to do when HVAC equipment is affected by flooding. We asked our experts and here’s what our manufacturers have to say.
Unfortunately many of you are experiencing major flooding in various areas. As always this raises the question of warranty and repair of units affected by flood waters. It is and has always been our position to follow industry standards to address these types of concerns. Any unit that has been submerged in flood water should be replaced.
All furnaces and parts subjected to these conditions should be replaced. No air conditioning equipment or packaged product should be used until serviced and tested by a competent service company. Parts subjected to flood waters are not covered under the manufacturer’s limited warranty.
The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) recommends that if a water heater is exposed to flood water, the unit should be replaced, not repaired.
The annual flooding experienced in various parts of the U.S. each spring once again brings attention to the safety hazards involved with flood damaged HVAC equipment. This notice provides recommendations for both residential and commercial equipment, as any type of equipment can be impacted by these flooding conditions.
Submerged HVAC equipment is damaged beyond what is typically considered cost effective to repair. Fully submerged equipment requires replacement of all open exposed electrical controls and motors, while coils of all types need to be inspected and cleaned. Likewise; gas piping, controls, and burner systems require a combination of component part replacement and cleaning to assure proper, safe operation. Flood waters can also damage line sets, vent system components, and thermostat wiring which all need to be checked or replaced.
Water damaged or submerged air handling duct systems are subjected to the potential biological hazards such as mold, mildew, and other issues caused by contaminated floodwaters. Note that the physical integrity of buildings should also be checked for units installed on rooftops for either residential or commercial structures.
All things considered, complete equipment change-out coupled with a thorough duct system replacement or cleaning is likely the best action required to restore safe, reliable HVAC system operation.
We strongly recommend that all flood damaged HVAC systems remain offline until properly inspected and dispositioned by a skilled HVAC professional. It should also be noted that part replacement due to flood damage is not covered by the Standard Limited Product Warranty.