How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner
When summer reaches its peak, your air conditioning may work double-time to keep your Ocala home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with high heat and humidity, can hinder your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and life span. Discover the many ways weather can influence your air conditioner and how to protect it.
Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner
A variety of weather conditions affect how well your air conditioning unit works. On especially hot days, the AC must work harder to maintain the set temperature. The increased workload could lead to an overloaded system, causing a breakdown.
Excessive humidity also presents a potentially tricky situation. Even though air conditioners are designed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can strain the system. This might result in decreased performance and a home that isn't as comfortable.
Prolonged high temperatures force your air conditioner to run continuously, leading to a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or put in properly, it may not be able to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.
In contrast, the condensing unit is in jeopardy if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to operate the AC when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, limiting efficiency and possibly wrecking your cooling system.
Significant rain, wind, hail or snow can damage your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can block airflow, decrease system efficiency or damage the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting may occur, shortening the lifetime of your unit.
The outdoor AC unit is vulnerable to severe weather, but you can take precautions to safeguard it. Here’s how to shield your air conditioner from damaging incoming weather:
- Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to run as hard, improving efficiency and lengthening the unit’s life span. If possible, place the AC on the north or east side of your home or in another spot that is shaded during the hot afternoon.
- Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers are a protective shield. During the winter season or when severe weather is predicted, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and deep snowfall. However, make sure you don’t attempt to run the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
- Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Performing regular maintenance is a proactive measure to enhance your AC unit’s overall health. After all, a tuned-up air conditioner is less likely to buckle under the stress of high temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and detailed inspections ensure your system stays in top-notch condition and is ready to deal with any weather.
- Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common byproduct of storms that can harm your AC unit’s electrical elements. Installing a surge protector adds an extra level of defense. On the other hand, you can easily switch off your AC during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
- Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Gusty winds can cause the outdoor air conditioning unit to topple or move. Also, rising water can cover the internal parts. Make sure your outdoor unit is completely secured and raised on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
- Clear your yard of debris: Keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose objects that could become dangerous projectiles. This helps prevent denting and other physical damage during the course of severe weather.
Checking on Your AC After a Storm
In the aftermath of severe weather, follow these steps to be sure your air conditioner is able to continue to run safety:
- Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go out and inspect your unit. Look for damage108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
- Clear debris: Clear away any leaves, sticks and other debris to maximize airflow and efficiency.
- Check for water damage: If your area sustained flooding, look for water damage. If you think water entered the unit, it’s a very good idea not to turn it on until you have it professionally inspected.
- Schedule a timely repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t postpone air conditioning repair, or you risk increased energy bills, a reduced life span or total system breakdown.
Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
No one wants to feel the impact of severe weather, but it’s essential to be prepared and understand how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your AC performs safely and efficiently. Our staff can handle all your AC service needs in Ocala, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather affect your indoor comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.