Protecting HVAC Equipment

In flood-prone buildings, a good way to protect HVAC equipment is to move it from the basement or lower level to an upper floor, or even to the attic. A less desirable method is to build a concrete or masonry block floodwall around the equipment. Relocation can involve plumbing and electrical changes, and floodwalls must be adequately designed and constructed to be strong and high enough to provide the protection needed.

Graphic showing HVAC Protection Methods. Concrete floodwall around HVAC components below flood level. Projected flood level is depicted by a zig-zag line on the lowest level. HVAC components raised to second floor or attic depiction.
If you are having your existing furnace or hot water heater repaired or replaced, consider having it relocated at the same time. It probably will be cheaper to combine projects than to do them separately. If you decide to raise your HVAC equipment, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient unit at the same time. Upgrading not only can save you money on your heating and cooling bills, but also may make you eligible for a rebate from your utility company. If you decide to protect your HVAC equipment with a floodwall, remember to leave enough space in the enclosed area for repairs and maintenance. If the wall has an opening to provide access to the enclosed area, the opening will need to have a gate that can be closed to prevent floodwaters from entering.