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Elevate your heat pump


October 14, 2015   By Willard Strong in Storms and Outages

Santee Cooper recently concluded a 10-day spill at the Santee Dam. (Jim Huff/Santee Cooper)

The recent flooding in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Grand Strand affected a lot of people. Some greatly, some not so great. I was lucky. While my backyard was essentially a pond for a few days, I wasn't impacted as so many were.

What happened to me was minor when contrasted to other folks. I was fretting that my relatively new, high-efficiency, Energy Star-certified heat pump would be inundated by the flooding. The ponding, the standing water, just kept getting higher and higher. Thankfully, the Tempstar unit was on a concrete slab with just enough inches of elevation to spare it from water entering the base of the unit.

I may have been stressing over this too much. I don't know how much water it could have endured before destruction set in, but I was glad I didn't have to find out. I almost began a ditching operation that would have been of questionable effectiveness to route the water away. I don't know if other homeowners had their heat pumps damaged, but a takeaway from this "1,000-year" rain is perhaps you should look at elevating your unit.

Heat pumps are probably the single most "line item" in your home's basic asset list, costing about $5,000 to get started for most folks. Of course, the bigger the abode, the more cooling and heating capability you need — and more costs money.

I bet a lot of folks never knew they might one day need flood insurance, me included. Like many folks, I was fortunate. Some folks got more rain than I did. Way more. And way more could have destroyed my unit or caused a costly repair.

So, take a look at your heat pump and how it's sitting. A little prevention for a little money could keep your heat pump out of harm's way — and give you peace of mind.