The hurricanes, storms, and humidity of Florida can wreak havoc on HVAC systems. However, there are several things you can do to minimize the risks of water damage. FEMA recommends that commercial building owners position HVAC units above the base flood elevation, which is the predicted level of floodwater for base flooding. The BFE varies in different locations. This is good advice for homeowners as well, and these are the main ways to protect an outdoor unit from water damage.
Build a Higher Base
In many cases, a base is only a few inches above the ground. Making it higher can help lower flood-related risks during a storm. If you choose this route, be sure to work with a professional to follow local building and safety codes.
Relocate the Unit
Although this is possible, the potential duct re-routing can be expensive. If you think that you may need a new HVAC unit soon, you may want to plan the relocation project with a new and more efficient unit
Create a Wall
If you cannot relocate the unit and cannot create a base that is high enough, a waterproof wall may work better. Since you will need a design to keep away water at all angles and will need an access point, have a professional build the wall. Be sure to allow at least three feet of clearance between the unit and the wall for adequate ventilation.
Schedule Regular Inspections
Although once per year may be sufficient for an HVAC system inspection, it is ideal to service your central air system twice each year in Florida. A professional can look for issues and flush the system to prevent mold or algae buildup.
Bottom line: A professional can walk you through your options to safeguard your central air system in the event of a storm. To schedule an appointment with Global Cooling, call (352) 269-8191.