Protect Your Home From Flooding

Protect Your Home From Flooding

Raise or Floodproof HVAC Equipment:

Illustration of raised or floodproofed HVAC equipment

Heating, ventilating, and cooling (HVAC) equipment, such as a furnace or hot water heater, can be damaged extensively if it is inundated by flood waters. The amount of damage will depend partly on the depth of flooding and the amount of time the equipment remains under water. Often, the damage is so great that the only solution is replacement.

In floodprone houses, a good way to protect HVAC equipment is to move it from the basement or lower level of the house to an upper floor or even to the attic. A less desirable method is to leave the equipment where it is and build a concrete or masonry block floodwall around it. Both of these methods require the skills of a professional contractor. Relocation can involve plumbing and electrical changes, and floodwalls must be adequately designed and constructed so that they are strong enough and high enough to provide the necessary level of protection.


Keep these points in mind when you have your HVAC equipment raised or floodproofed:

  • Changes to the plumbing, electrical system, and ventilating ductwork in your house must be done by a licensed contractor, who will ensure that the work is done correctly and according to all applicable codes. This is important for your safety.
  • If you are having your existing furnace or hot water heater repaired or replaced, consider having it relocated at the same time. It will probably be cheaper to combine these projects than to carry them out at different times.
  • Similarly, if you have decided to raise your HVAC equipment, consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient unit at the same time. Upgrading can not only save you money on your heating and cooling bills, it may also make you eligible for a rebate from your utility companies.
  • If you decide to protect your HVAC equipment with a floodwall, remember that you will need enough space in the enclosed area for system repairs and routine maintenance. Also, depend-ing on its height, the wall may have to be equipped with an opening that provides access to the enclosed area. Any opening will have to be equipped with a gate that can be closed to prevent flood waters from entering.

Estimated Cost:

Having your furnace and hot water heater moved to a higher floor or to the attic will cost about $ 1,500. The cost of a floodwall will depend partly on its height and length. A 3-foot-high wall with a perimeter length of 35 feet would cost about $1,000.