After a Flood: Tips for Ensuring Safety From Your HVAC System and Fireplace

After a flood, there are a lot of things to think about once the waters recede. Certainly the condition of irreplaceables like family heirlooms, documents, and photos are a major concern. However, the status of your HVAC system is going to be a priority, as well. In most homes, the heating and cooling system represents a major investment and is central to the comfortable living environment that makes a house a home. However, HVAC components weren’t designed to be exposed to water inundation. Before you attempt to start the A/C or furnace, consider these precautions.shutterstock_167703644

  • First and foremost: think about safety. Before you switch the system on, have a professional HVAC contractor or electrician check system electrical components that may have been submerged or wet and are no longer safe to energize. Gas furnaces present hazards, as well, because the gas valves and burners are very susceptible to malfunctions after water exposure.
  • Outdoor and indoor components of central A/C units should be checked for damage from immersion. Water inundation outside or inside may shift components on their mountings, stressing refrigerant lines and connections and causing refrigerant loss.
  • Ductwork requires a complete inspection if water has infiltrated. Wet ducts must be disinfected by professional mold remediation techniques, or they will rapidly become repositories of toxic mold growth. Some spans of ductwork, such as those with insulation, will have to be replaced after water damage because effective decontamination is impossible.
  • Replace fireplace logs if they were immersed in water. Have an electrician check any installed fireplace fans or blowers to make sure they’re safe to operate. Chimney structure and mortar should also be inspected after a flood.

For further advice about ensuring the safety of heating and cooling systems after a flood, contact the water damage experts at Rytech

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