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Why Should I Have My Outdoor Unit Inspected After a Hailstorm?

Why Should I Have My Outdoor Unit Inspected After a Hailstorm?

outdoor unit inspection after hair stormHere in Texas, we are no strangers to hailstorms, and they can happen at any time of the year. After a hailstorm, most homeowners are usually only concerned about damage to their vehicles, roof damage and sometimes even window damage. Have you ever considered about damage to your outdoor condensing unit? I’m guessing that your answer is “no” and trust me, you are not alone. Damage to your AC unit usually isn’t addressed until it is no longer cooler or heating your home properly.

water heater not heatingHail damage to your AC unit can be a lot more than cosmetic. Homeowners insurance will typically cover all the damage but often the adjuster does not realize the extent of the damage therefore they do not authorize the proper repair. It is highly recommended that you schedule a visit for an HVAC contractor to come out and take a look. They should provide you with an evaluation that can be presented to your adjuster and will be written in terms they understand with customary pricing they typically approve.

 

Damage to your AC unit can ruin the efficiency of the system. Here are a few types of typical hail damage:

water heater not heating

  • The top of the unit or the fan shroud usually gets hit the hardest. The visual damage is dents in the shroud and grill which can be replaced. The hidden damage is to the fan blades and/ or the fan mount, both of which throw the fan operation out of balance. Insurance will cover all this if properly diagnosed and documented by a licensed HVAC contractor.
  • The condenser coil (those aluminum fins) gets dented and folded over. This restricts air flow and reduces efficiency and shortens the life of the system. Often minor damage can be combed out. We use a specialized comb to straighten out the bent aluminum. This does not restore it to new but does open the fins for proper air flow. When the surface of the coil has damage or restrictions on more than 25% of the surface then the coil should not be combed but replaced. Your adjuster will likely recommend (pay for) combing regardless of the extent of damage unless you have written diagnosis from a licensed HVAC contractor.
  • If you have hail guards on your system, then you most likely will not suffer damage to the coil itself but the guard is likely compromised and should be replaced.

Take the time to find an HVAC contractor that will help you maintain the integrity of your HVAC system and who will be honest when hail damage is present.