Every year, homeowners across Chicagoland find themselves with anything from a few inches to a few feet of water in their homes. In the process of repairing the damage, many find that their furnace or boiler will not kick on. In their frustration, they often come to Four Seasons for help. Unfortunately, once a unit has been exposed to water, there is little that we can do. The Gas Appliance Manufacturer’s Association, or GAMA, released a document explaining why attempting to repair water damaged systems can be a futile and dangerous effort. Instead, they recommend that these systems be replaced as soon as possible, and when you consider the potential problems caused by these systems, you too will understand why operating a system in this condition can be costly and dangerous. These are 5 of the most common problems caused by flooded HVAC systems:
1. A Run Away Gas Valve: Gas valve malfunctions are some of the most common problems that first pop up with flood damaged equipment. A run away gas valve is a valve that will not close. When the system turns on, the valve opens and the cycle begins. However, when the cycle ends the valve does not close at all and this allows gas to continue to pour into the furnace and the home. You can only imagine that horrendous consequences that can come from having a gas leak like this in your home.
2. Intermittent Gas Valves: An intermittent gas valve does not reliably respond to the thermostat’s call for heat. Instead the valve will remain closed and refuse to allow the furnace to operate. This malfunction has a funny way of occurring at the most inconvenient of times and could leave your family out in the cold on some of the chilliest winter nights.
3. Bleeding Gas Valves: A bleeding gas valve is when the gas valve will open for heat, but will not close completely when the cycle of heat has ended. Like with a runaway gas valve, this problem will allow gas to seep into the home, and could cause fires and even explosions if the build-up goes unnoticed.
4. Mold and Mildew Growth: Another problem caused by water exposure to the furnace is the growth of mold and mildew. The problem begins within the insulation material of the furnace’s cabinet, and with time the spores spread to coat every inch of the system. When the unit cycles, the spores are sent throughout the home and can infect every room if the system is not removed promptly from the home.
5. Electrical Damage and System Failure: Water causes an accelerated breakdown of all of the components within the furnace system. As the burners and heat exchanger rust, the safety controls can malfunction and cause even more damage to the home. Electrical fires are all too common in water damaged systems, and the only way to eliminate the problem in its entirety is to remove the furnace from the home!
Don’t put the safety of your family in danger and have the furnace and any other appliances replaced after a flood. When you choose Four Seasons for your replacement, we will do everything possible to protect your new investment, and keep your family safe and comfortable. Don’t take a risk and try to fix a flood damaged furnace.