Heavy rains in Middle Tennessee serve as a reminder of the dangers posed by excessive water.  Flooding of roadways and fallen trees come to mind, but have you considered how excessive rain can affect your heating and air conditioning system? 典型的集中供暖 & air-conditioning system has 3 main components:

  • an outdoor part – which sits beside or behind your home,
  • an indoor part – usually in a basement, 阁楼, 或杂物间, and
  • ductwork – which runs all around various spaces inside your home.

Let’s look at how heavy rains can affect each of these.

在户外

The outdoor parts – the compressor and condenser coil – are built to withstand all kinds of weather.  The sensitive electrical components are sealed and the connections are insulated and made impervious to moisture. The outer-facing parts are comprised of aluminum, 铜, 和其他金属, 哪些是用来应对大雨的.  But too much rain can impact the outdoor unit in the following ways:

  • 侵蚀, 沟壑, and mudslicks can cause the pad the outdoor unit is sitting on to shift as the heavy rain washes away the earth beneath and beside it. The result is that the unit is no longer level, 或者在极端情况下, the unit has washed partly or completely off the pad. If you encounter either of these situations, turn the unit off and do not operate it until the unit is made level again, 有坚实的基础.
  • 碎片 from the yard or blowing in the wind can wash up near the unit or become lodged in the unit. 分支机构, 叶子, and other debris can fall inside the unit (where the fan blades are), or can damage the fins on the sides of the unit. After a storm, always check the outdoor unit. If the fins have been damaged or you see gashes or holes, turn the unit off and call a professional. Operating the system with debris in or against the unit will cause damage to the unit!
  • 静水 or flooding around the outdoor unit can be quite serious, as it may have damaged the internal components. Turn the unit off and have it professionally inspected before you restart it. 与此同时, check the source of the water: do you have a broken or blocked gutter or a downspout that needs to be re-directed? If the source of the standing water is due to the unit being located in a low spot in yard, or in an area with poor drainage due to vegetation or slopes, consider relocating the unit or raising it up several feet to prevent future flooding.
  • 提示: Never use a tarp or plastic bag to cover the outdoor unit. 它将水分锁在内部, 导致生锈, 模具, 和霉菌, which weakens the components and will cause them to break down sooner. It also creates an attractive nesting ground for insects and vermin. Covering the outdoor unit while running the air-conditioner will damage the compressor.

在室内

室内部分,通常是火炉, 热交换器, 蒸发器, and air handler – is usually located in a basement, 阁楼, 或杂物间. 因为它是在室内设计的, its electrical components and construction are not built to withstand rain or extreme moisture. 在大雨中, 甚至在热水器发生故障时也不例外, your basement 或杂物间 may experience flooding. 如果你的公寓在阁楼上, be mindful that a roof leak as a result of the heavy rain could develop. Any time your indoor unit is wet or encounters standing water, a short in the electrical circuits can damage the wiring, 汽车, 和电子产品, 使系统变得危险. The system should be turned off from the main circuit breaker (not just at thermostat). Do not attempt to start it again without having it thoroughly inspected by an HVAC technician.

管道系统

管道系统, which is often run in crawlspaces and 阁楼s, can be impacted by heavy rains. If your crawlspace floods or your roof leaks, the ductwork will get wet. 管道系统通常不防水. Water entering the ducts may remain inside the duct long after the flood itself has receded, and will cause the ductwork to deteriorate. Mold 和霉菌 will begin growing inside your ductwork, 让整个房子都有霉味, and could lead to the perfect environment for toxic 模具 growth. Roof leaks can often go unnoticed 在阁楼上 for some time, and moisture or even standing water in a crawlspace can go unnoticed if it doesn’t raise to the level of impacting the floors. This ongoing moisture will saturate the insulation around the ducts, 在阁楼上, 在地板搁栅下面. 潮湿的绝缘材料不起作用了, and the increased heat transfer causes your heat and air conditioner to run longer cycles to compensate, or forces you to continually adjust the thermostat to compensate for the reduced efficiency.  But the biggest danger to you and your family from wet ductwork is the reduced air quality and health hazards of 模具.

If you are concerned that your system is not working properly due to recent storms in the area, give Interstate AC Service a call at (615) 832-8500. We’ll determine if your system is safe to operate or is in need of repairs.

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