Hurricane Sandy and Your HVAC System: What You Need to Know

Hurricane Sandy and Your HVAC System: What You Need to Know

residential central air conditioning unitSpring 2013- Summer seems so far away, but before you know it, you will want to feel the cool air of your AC in your home. And Spring has certainly been a lion, so that heat is probably still on!

Your HVAC (Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system is an important part of your home for the simple fact that it keeps you comfortable and healthy. Proper maintenance, from regular cleaning to the annual inspection, is required to keep your system running as efficiently as possible. If your HVAC system was affected by flooding or submerged under water due to Hurricane Sandy, it should be carefully cleaned and remediated by a professional.

A number of problems can result if your HVAC system has been submerged in water. In addition to performance issues, the water can cause contamination, allowing microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi to grow in the system. Even parts of the system that were not completely submerged can be affected in a similar way due to excess moisture in the immediate environment. There are a number of steps that will need to be taken before the HVAC unit can be properly cleaned.

The area in which the HVAC unit is located should be isolated from the rest of the building (if the building is still populated) using plastic sheeting, temporary walls, and other vapor-resistant barriers. The HVAC system should only be cleaned by professionals, as protective gear like respirators are needed to protect against airborne microorganisms. This kind of protective gear is especially important if chlorine bleach or other such disinfectants are being used in environments that are poorly ventilated. All insulation contaminated by the flood that surrounds the HVAC unit should be removed. Any filters in the unit should be properly removed and discarded as well.

A vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter should be used to remove all dirt, debris and microorganisms in the HVAC system.  The component surfaces of the units should then be disinfected using chlorine bleach, and given a final cleaning with water. Any components that cannot be completely cleaned and disinfected should be removed and replaced.

The process may seem long and involved, but your family's health is too important to risk. Fortunately you can find a trustworthy HVAC technician and other home repair contractors on our Clients Helping Clients page. Be sure to let them know how you found them!

Flood remediation and HVAC repairs can be costly, but carrying appropriate flood insurance and homeowners insurance policies can help. To discuss your coverage levels with a New Jersey independent insurance agent, give CCW a call today at 732.280.2800.