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After Harvey: Goodman Urges Caution With HVAC System Restarts

Aug. 31, 2017
Severe weather can affect residential heating and cooling systems. Goodman Air Conditioning & Heating has provided a list of warnings and best practices that homeowners and their servicing contractors must follow to ensure homeowner safety.

Following the catastrophic flooding in Houston and surrounding regions, it is important that homeowners who eventually return to their homes not attempt to restart their heating and air conditioning systems before a complete assessment of the units can be made by a qualified contractor.

The major point is that after a flood or storm surge from a hurricane or tropical storm, homeowners are advised to take important safety precautions with regard to their home’s heating and cooling systems. A house or basement exposed to standing water can damage a home’s heater, furnace, air-conditioning, ventilation, and heat pump system — putting a family at risk. Click on the blue and white box to find the information.

Rex Goodman, director of communications for Goodman Manufacturing Co. LP, based in Waller, Tex., says some units might very well start up, but that's not necessarily an indication that the unit is safe to operate.

"I cannot provide an estimate of the number of units that would be functional after being submerged," Anderson told Contracting Business, "but I remain surprised hearing how many units actually start when energized after being under water."

Anderson says one scenario is that the unit might initially ‘work’ but will fail soon, given the conditions that occurred during the time the unit was under water.

"Given that flood water is dirty and contains lots of grime, it’s likely that the condenser unit coil is coated," Anderson says. "Thus, the unit may operate but at much lower efficiency levels than the unit was designed to provide. Further, the unit may be subject to premature failure given the extra effort required to override the inefficient coil."

“Standing water in a yard, house, or basement can damage a home’s heating, cooling, and water heating equipment, in ways that are not always readily apparent — putting families at risk,” says AHRI President & CEO Stephen Yurek. “We advise homeowners to play it safe and replace, rather than repair, flood-damaged heating, cooling, and water heating equipment."

Resources at Goodman and The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) have prepared a detailed fact sheet that contains pertinent information related to the use of water damaged HVAC systems and ductwork.

Anderson says Goodman is prepared to ramp up its production capacity to meet the needs of customers. However, the amount of units will be spread over many months as homeowners, depending on the severity of the damage, move back into their homes and start the reconstruction process.