4 Tips on How to Identify HVAC Damage after a Hurricane
We never know when the next natural disaster is going to strike, so it’s always better to protect your home from any sort of damage before it happens. However, as we all know, life isn’t that simple and some serious damage could still happen to our home regardless of how well we try to prevent it. Therefore, it’s imperative that you are proactive about finding these damages and fix them before they become a pressing problem. The same is true for the HVAC system, as it’s often prone to water damage, especially after an intense hurricane.
With that said, here four tips on how to identify a sign of HVAC damage after a hurricane:
Outdoor equipment inspection
Obviously, the first place you should look for damage is the outdoor unit, as it’s the most exposed part of the entire system. The most common types of damage you will find with the exterior unit is compression issues caused by water damage. During a hurricane, the unit will be placed under immense pressure from the wind and rain. This may cause some excess moisture to get sucked into the compressor. This may cause a short-circuit later on, especially if it’s not taken care of right away. Additionally, you should also check for mud and dirt buildup on the fan blades and clean it to reduce friction and drag, which can cause a cumulative problem to the motor.
You will need to check for the line-set inside the unit to see if there’s any shift or misalignment. These shifts can cause some particles to get into the refrigerant loop, which can affect both the cooling efficiency and air quality. If you notice this issue, make sure you fix it right away.
Indoor equipment inspection
The furnace may also be damaged by the increased moisture in the air and from the outside, so you will need to check for any sign of water damage in the indoor unit as well. For example, if water gets into the furnace, it may cause the unit to short circuit, which may actually become a fire hazard if you use it before it’s fixed. This is especially a concern if you have a low-hanging indoor unit in the basement, as there’s a high possibility of the room being flooded during a storm.
Identify water damage in horizontal systems
Horizontal units are much more susceptible to wind and water damage than the vertical ones, as they have more spaces for water to get in to. Additionally, there’s more surface area that will go against the wind, which may cause some stress with the unit. Therefore, if you have a horizontal unit, you will need to be more thorough with the checkup to make sure that there’s no hidden issue with the system.
Check for signs of mold growths
While a vertically mounted furnace may not be as susceptible to damage. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impervious to environmental damage. This is because most of the unit is hung on the ceiling. This means that the unit is safe from flooding. However, since it’s more difficult to clean, it may be more prone to mold growths, which can lead to poor air quality. You will need to check for these signs of contamination and clean it before it becomes worse.
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