How Hurricane Irma May Have Impacted Your Commercial HVAC in Florida

This has been one of the most destructive hurricane seasons on record in Florida, with Hurricane Irma causing the brunt of the damage in September. Many homeowners and business owners have been left to figure out how they will recover from their damages and losses in the wake of the storm.

As you continue to work on your recovery, one of the things you will need to consider is the impact the storms may have had on your commercial HVAC in Florida. A simple visual assessment will likely tell you a lot right off the bat about the state of your unit, but it might not tell you everything you need to know.

According to the Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), business owners should take a variety of key safety precautions after a hurricane or flood with regard to HVAC appliances and ductwork. Standing water can cause significant damage to heating and cooling equipment, and any flood-damaged equipment should be replaced sooner than later, instead of repaired.

Manufacturer’s warranties almost never cover failure or damage due to wind, floods or other conditions outside of the company’s control, and most insurance plans also do not cover flood damage. Therefore, your best strategy during your recovery may be to contact FEMA for government aid.

Repairing or replacing HVAC equipment

Any commercial HVAC equipment that has been damaged or submerged in flood water must be inspected and replaced by a certified contractor.

Split systems (heat pumps and air conditioners) often have power and control wiring that runs between the indoor and outdoor units, as well as piping through which refrigerant flows. If flood water repositioned either the outdoor or indoor units even by a very slight degree, there is a chance the refrigerant could be leaking. This would necessitate either significant repairs or a full replacement of the system.

If the refrigerant system is still in place after the storm, the entire system still needs to be cleaned, dried and disinfected. You should have a contractor check all of the electrical connections and control circuits before deciding to repair or replace.

Repairing or replacing ductwork

If your HVAC system has sustained any damage at all, you should also closely inspect the ductwork. If insulation has been in contact with flood water, it should be disposed of and replaced, as it will be impossible to decontaminate. A qualified contractor can clean and dry all of the ductwork, and make any repairs or replacements as necessary if it has been damaged in the storm.

Any time you have been through a hurricane and sustained damage to your business, there is going to be a lot on your plate with regard to the recovery process. Therefore, it’s important to work with a team of HVAC professionals you can trust to keep your mind at ease.

For more information about repairs for commercial HVAC in Florida, contact our team today at 5 Star Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. We would be happy to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs.