Air Conditioner Hail Damage: What to do with your AC unit?
As seen on Bunbury & Associates website under News and Advice.
Air Conditioner Hail Damage
The hail storm that passed through Madison this week sparked some phone calls asking what to do about air conditioner hail damage. Here are a few tips for what to look for with hail damage to AC unit coils and metal covers. Air conditioner hail damage can be superficial as with the exterior metal casing, but it could also affect the long-term performance of a unit if coils or fins are damaged and not addressed.
Typically, hail damage is not something covered by an AC unit manufacturer or a home warranty. Any damaged item that would qualify for hail damage would be handled through your insurance company. It’s best to consult with your insurance company and have an adjuster inspect any damage before you get an HVAC contractor involved. They will determine the extent of damage and recommend pathways to remedy the unit. At Pharo Heating and Cooling, we work almost exclusively with Bryant air conditioner products in the Madison, WI area. We can absolutely help you with any Bryant AC products to solve any issues with hail damage.
Hail Damaged Air Conditioner Coil Fins
Coil fins that are struck by hail are bent into each other. The damage restricts airflow. This airflow reduction and change inhibits the ability for the AC unit to work properly. This not only raises your energy consumption and reduces efficiency it shortens the life of the unit. The unit will need to work harder to compensate for the inefficiencies.
Insurances companies often recommend having the coil fins combed out to straighten them. This typically involves using a specialized AC fin comb that attempts to straighten the positioning of the fins back to the original condition. While it is difficult to “comb-out” a perfect pattern, this is very common item that is overlooked when an adjuster is visiting a home. Much of the focus is on major items like the roof structure, any metal cladding on the home and vehicles. It’s important to have the adjuster inspect the AC unit because any hail damage beyond cosmetic dents could be a long term liability for a homeowner.
For some hail damaged equipment, manufacturer warranties can still be in effect. Manufacturers will not warranty a failed component, such as a compressor, if any possibility exist that it failed due to a damaged coil or fins not returned to original manufactures specifications.
Preventing Storm Damage
For both residential and commercial AC units, another thing to consider is using a hail guard to screen the unit. Be sure to check with us before installing one on a unit as some hail guards actually negate warranties. However, because of the concentration of hail events in tornado alley, AC companies have come up with solutions to protect units from bent fins or coil damage from hail storms. If you are interested in a hail guard system for your AC unit, reach out to us to discuss.
It’s pretty uncommon for AC units to sustain large enough to dent the entire unit cover, but it is possible. In cases like this, we would consult with an adjuster to suggest solutions to remedy the cover.
Clint Pharo is a local HVAC Contractor in Madison, WI. He and his team of HVAC professionals at Pharo Heating & Cooling cover a broad range of services in commercial buildings, new home construction, and residential homes and locally represent Bryant Heating and Cooling Products. He regularly posts on his company’s blog at www.PharoHeating.com.
Ben Lindberg is partner in a marketing and design house in Madison, WI called Lion Tree Group. He regularly blogs at the Bark and Roar blog at www.LionTreeGroup.com.