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There are many people who experienced HVAC damage from Hurricane Michael. Beahan’s Heat and Air also receives various questions about AC damage after every tropical storm. Most of these problems stem from two main categories; What happens if my outside AC unit is not level? And Should I have ductwork replaced after storm damage? If you have been affected by either of these two topics, or may be in the future, follow along to know your best course of action.

What Happens if my Outside Unit is not Level?

First off, it’s important to note that HVAC units should be as level as possible. Not only because it looks better, but there are also mechanical reasons why. The most important reason being to keep the oil level in the bottom of compressor. This is where it is designed to stay in order to lubricate the motor properly. Additionally, there are rubber shock mounts at the base of the compressor. A level system allows these mounts to take the repetitive shock in an even manner. An uneven wear on these mounts will cause premature failure that could lead to exasperated damage. Aside from the compressor, a finely tuned HVAC system will allow refrigerant to flow through its coils without increased interference from uphill slopes. The final mechanical problem that can be experienced from an unlevel AC unit is increased and uneven strain on motors and bearings. This has the potential to create long-term issues. At a minimum, a tilted system may make unpleasant noises. Even if nothing seems to be wrong, it can contribute to premature system failures down the road.

One thing that we would like to point out is that HVAC systems should only be moved or adjusted by professionals. If the refrigerant lines to the unit become kinked or damaged, it could be a costly mistake. Additionally, if there are signs that flying debris is the cause of a tilted system, a professional diagnosis should be conducted.

Should I Have my Ductwork Replaced After Storm Damage?

Many residents all over Bay County have had ductwork that got wet either during or following Hurricane Michael. A lot of our customers have asked if they need to change their ductwork after it got wet. Well, according to the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification S500, wind driven rain from tropical storms or hurricanes is considered category 3 water. In other words, it falls under the same classification as raw sewage. This is because the water can be grossly contaminated by various substances including, but not limited to: organic debris, pathogens, pesticides, toxins, and other harmful matter. Therefore, if the ductwork got wet from wind driven rain, it should be replaced. Also, once it gets wet, the conditions are ideal for mold growth. Such growth typically results in airborne particles that not only spread but are very harmful for the respiratory system. The end result winds up providing highly compromised indoor air quality.

We understand that there are uncertainties that may arise, but here are two general rules we tell our customers. If the ductwork itself was damaged, it is better to replace it. Repairs are generally discouraged because of storm water infiltration. Finally, even if the ductwork doesn’t seem wet, if the sheet rock or wall structure has water damage, chances are ductwork got wet too.

In Review

All HVAC units should be level. Even if it wasn’t from hurricane damage, if your unit is tilted or damaged, it should be looked at.

Storm water is bad news for ductwork. We highly recommend getting it changed if you experienced water damage to your ductwork.

We wish everyone God’s speed in their continued hurricane damage recovery efforts. If your air conditioning system or duct work have
HVAC damage from Hurricane Michael, and need looked at, please call Beahan’s Heat and Air at (850) 866-2273. We are a locally owned, operated, and insured company trying to help rebuild our community just like everyone else.

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