Warmer sea surface and atmospheric temperatures have caused changes in the environment, like rising sea levels and more intense rainstorms. These factors have led to an increase in flooding across the country, especially in coastal and low-lying areas, according to Flood Factor—a free online tool that enables anyone in the nation to find their property’s current and future risk of flooding so they can mitigate risks.
Flooding can cause damage to expensive infrastructure on your property that’s located on the exterior or interior basement or ground levels, like your HVAC. But you can raise this infrastructure to above flood levels to help prevent damage.
The base flood elevation, or BFE, will determine the height above which your equipment needs to be raised. Your BFE can be found by searching your county’s FEMA flood insurance rating map, or FIRM. Raising your equipment by 1 or 2 feet above the BFE can increase protection from high flood events.
Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Air conditioners, hot water heaters, furnaces, heat pumps, and propane tanks are usually situated on the ground and can be raised above flood levels by placing the equipment on a platform. Equipment that’s located on the exterior of your home can be raised on an elevated platform that’s attached to the side of your house, or placed on platforms of concrete or masonry block depending on the flood level and location of the pieces of equipment. Interior equipment can also be placed on concrete or masonry block platforms. However, if your appliance is located in a basement or garage and is several feet below flood level you may not have sufficient room to place it on a platform that is above flood level.
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