With the arrival of spring comes increased rainfall and a higher risk of flooding. Although some areas are more prone to flooding than others, this catastrophe can happen to anyone anywhere as evidenced by the fact that all 50 states experienced some type of flooding event in the last five years. If you have an outdoor air conditioning unit, taking steps to protect it from flood waters can save you thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs. Here are three ways you can accomplish this task.
Relocate The Unit
One possible long-term solution is to relocate the unit to inside the home, and preferably on an upper level. If you have a flat roof, placing it there is also an option. Another possibility is to put the unit on an outdoor deck that sits several feet off the ground. In either case, the goal is to move the unit to a place where flood waters are unlikely to get to it.
However, relocating an outdoor AC unit isn't as simple as picking it up and plopping it in its new spot. The duct system, wiring, and drainage pipes will have to be reconfigured to the unit's new location. You may also need to do some interior renovation work depending on where you place the air conditioner.
At minimum, it can cost between $500 and $750 to relocate an existing AC unit. However, a cheaper and better option may be to change the location of the unit when you purchase a new one. A lot of things that need to be done to prepare the old unit won't be required with a new air conditioner, which may reduce the cost of the move.
Build A Flood Wall
If relocating the air conditioner isn't feasible or desired, you're next best option is to build a wall around the machine to stop flood waters from reaching it. One benefit of this alternative is you can save yourself some money by building the wall yourself. However, hiring an experienced mason may be the best way to go.
The wall should be made from strong materials that can withstand the impact of the flood waters such as cement and stone. It should also be at least one foot taller than the highest recorded flood level in your area. You can usually get this information from your local city or county building authority or area flood specialist. Be aware, though, that flash floods can cause water to get as high as 10 to 20 feet. When building the wall, you must also be certain to provide a way for people to access the area to perform maintenance on the air conditioning unit as well as ensure the unit has enough surrounding space to function.
It costs an average of $4,500 to build a brick, stone, or block wall. However, the cost may be more or less depending on the size of the wall, the materials used, and whether you do it yourself or have a contractor install the structure for you.
Increase The Height Of The Concrete Base
The last option is to increase the height of the concrete base the unit is sitting on. Of the three options, this is the least ideal because it still leaves the unit exposed to splashing water. Additionally, local building codes may restrict how high you can build the base, which may still put your air conditioning at risk of being flooded if the flood levels are higher than the base is allowed to be.
However, increasing the base size is possibly the easiest and cheapest option of the bunch. Alternatively, you can mount the AC unit onto the side of the house using brackets.
For more ideas on protecting your air conditioner from flood waters or to repair damage caused by flooding, connect with a contractor that specializes in air conditioner repairs or visit a website like http://www.nowha.com/.Share