How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer hits its peak, your air conditioner may work double-time to keep your Winnipeg home cool and comfortable. While many summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with extreme heat and humidity, can hinder your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and the length of its working life. Discover the many ways weather can have an impact on your AC and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner

Performance

A variety of weather conditions can alter how well your air conditioning unit works. On very hot days, the AC has to work harder to achieve the set temperature. The increased workload can lead to an overworked system, causing a breakdown.

High humidity also presents a potentially tricky situation. While air conditioners are supposed to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can strain the system. This might result in diminished performance and a less comfortable home.

Efficiency

Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, causing a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or set up properly, it may not be able to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Alternatively, the condensing unit is at risk if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the air conditioning when the outdoor unit is covered in ice can damage the compressor, decreasing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Heavy rain, wind, hail or snow can inflict damage on your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can obstruct airflow, reduce system efficiency or damage the metal. When water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting might occur, shortening the lifetime of your unit.

Protecting Your Air Conditioner from Severe Weather

The outdoor AC unit is sensitive to extreme weather, but you can take precautions to protect it. Here’s how to protect your air conditioner from damaging incoming weather:

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to work as vigorously, improving efficiency and prolonging the unit’s life span. If possible, place the air conditioning on the north or east side of your home or somewhere else shaded during the hot afternoon.
  • Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers are a protective shield. During the off-season or when severe weather is expected, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. Just make sure you don’t attempt to operate the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Performing regular maintenance is a cost-effective measure to enhance your AC unit’s operating efficiency. After all, a regularly serviced air conditioner is less likely to break under the stress of high temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and comprehensive inspections ensure your system continues to be in top-notch condition and is ready to deal with any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common result of storms that can harm your AC unit’s electrical elements. Installing a surge protector adds an extra form of defense. On the other hand, you can easily power off your HVAC equipment during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Strong winds can cause the outdoor air conditioning unit to topple or move. Similarly, rising water can cover the internal components. Ensure your outdoor unit is completely secured and lifted up 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 items that could become harmful projectiles. This helps protect against denting and other physical damage from severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of very bad weather, follow these steps to ensure your air conditioner is able to continue to run safety:

  • Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go outside and inspect your unit. Search for damage such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Get rid of any leaves, tree limbs and other debris to improve airflow and efficiency.
  • Look for water damage: If your neighborhood suffered flooding, check for water damage. If you suspect water got into the unit, it’s best 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 be impacted by severe weather, but it’s critical to be prepared and understand how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your HVAC system operates safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in Winnipeg, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather affect your family’s comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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