We are in recovery mode here in Southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian and its storm surge hit in September. FEMA declared several counties in Florida a disaster area after the storm and many are still in the process of trying to figure out their next steps. Dolphin Cooling understands what you’re going through because we are going through it too. We are out in our communities, repairing and replacing damaged HVAC units and helping our neighbors as they work through their recovery efforts. The recovery process will surely be long for our communities, especially in the hardest-hit areas like Fort Myers Beach, and property owners are scrambling to find the resources they need to repair the physical damage.
Storm damage from Ian was widespread and caused damage to electrical systems resulting in power outages, water damage from flooding, and damage from long-sustained winds. All of these things can do harm to your HVAC system. Many knew they had hurricane Ian HVAC damage as soon as their power was restored because their air conditioner wouldn’t come back on. Others may still not know the storm’s effect on their ac unit because it appears to be running normally right now.
How a Major Hurricane Causes HVAC Damage
If your HVAC system came back on when your power was restored, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there are no issues. It’s possible that flood-damaged systems won’t stop working right away. Running a flood damaged HVAC unit can be a safety hazard and should be addressed as quickly as possible to avoid further damage or risk.
It’s possible that even after flooding your system could still seem to be working fine. Water and wind damage to the components of the system is not always obvious and its effects are not always immediate. Your air conditioner is a complex piece of equipment with wires, coils, fans, and electrical components. The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) stresses that systems damaged by flooding are a safety risk for your family.
Not only is safety a concern, but equipment efficiency can be drastically reduced, even over time, in a system that has been damaged but is still functioning. Some simple, but important repairs may need to be done in order to
Emergency Assistance for Hurricane Ian HVAC Damage
If your HVAC system was flooded or possibly damaged by high winds and needs repair or replacement, there are options for assistance that you may be eligible for. Each person’s eligibility will vary depending on their specific situation, so finding an assistance option that works for you can be frustrating. We hope one of these options will work for you.
FEMA is out in full force to assist the state of Florida in recovery from hurricane Ian. Their Individuals and Household Program assistance may be something you qualify for. However, this option is intended to meet the basic needs of your household. It’s not meant to restore your property back to pre-hurricane condition. This means eligibility will depend on the system being broken and destroyed, not in working condition.
“‘Housing Assistance’ covers repairs to structural parts of your home. This includes windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, cabinets, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, utilities (electrical, plumbing and gas systems), and entrance ways. FEMA may also reimburse for repair or replacement of your furnace, well and septic system.”
For more information, visit FEMA’s website.
Emergency Relief Rebates
Depending on the brand of HVAC unit you have, you may be eligible for an emergency relief rebate. The Johnson Controls homeowner rebate offers some relief to eligible homeowners needing repairs to their HVAC systems, but this only applies to specific brands. For more information, visit their website.
Depending on your policy, your homeowner’s insurance or flood insurance may cover the damage to your HVAC system. Insurance companies here in SWFL are standing reading to receive your claims and answer questions about your situation. Before making costly repairs or replacements, contact your agent and find out if you are covered.
What to Do After Hurricane Ian HVAC Damage
Scheduling a HVAC check with a trusted contractor for your wind and/or water damaged system is better done sooner, rather than later. Working or not, have a licensed contractor come out and do a thorough inspection of the unit and the ductwork. If your system sustained strong winds, important safety precautions should be taken to ensure that all wires are fully connected and do not pose a fire risk.
Even if your unit is working after the storm and has no visible structural damage, it’s important to have a system inspection after a major hurricane. Being a local HVAC contractor in SWFL, we know you have so many things to consider in your cleanup efforts. We are right there in this with you. If your AC unit is working, having it inspected is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately, putting off an inspection can lead to more issues in flood damaged systems.
We are ready to help homeowners in this recovery process. If your system is a total loss, we can help get you set up with a new system installation. If you need a unit replacement, inspection, or possible repairs, contact us to schedule an HVAC check.
“After Hurricane Ian passed through and our electricity came back on, the air conditioner would not work, called around and Dolphin Air was able to have a tech, Jason, from the Cape Coral office come the very next day (Sunday)! He fixed the issue and was such a pleasure to work with, experienced, professional, courteous and we truly appreciate this company and how they run their business! We signed up for a maintenance plan and look forward to Jason being our tech going forward!” -Rich and Cheryl Stout
Dolphin Cooling’s Emergency Repair Service
We have a great team of technicians who are always available in the event of an emergency with your HVAC system. We understand the importance of your air conditioner in SWFL, especially during this time of disaster recovery when things can be high stress and the frustration of beginning to put things back together can be exhausting. After experiencing one of the strongest storms to ever hit Florida, we understand the importance of having a trusted local technician you can count on. As we go into the cooler months of Florida’s Gulf Coast Winter, it’s important to be sure heat pumps are functioning and limit the extent of the damage to your unit by repairing things before they get worse.
We are right here with you, living out the process ourselves, and we are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year in support of our community. We service Naples, Estero, Bonita Springs, Vineyards, Marco Island, Golden Gate, and the Fort Myers area.