How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner
When summer gets to its peak, your air conditioner may work extra hard to keep your Dallas home cool and comfortable. While many summer days are warm and beautiful, most areas of the country 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. Explore the many ways weather can have an impact on your air conditioner and how to protect it.
Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner
A variety of weather conditions may change how well your air conditioning unit functions. On particularly hot days, the AC has to work harder to attain and hold the set temperature. The additional workload can lead to an overburdened system, causing a breakdown.
Excessive humidity also presents a challenge. While air conditioners are supposed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put stress on the system. This can result in reduced performance and a home that isn't as comfortable.
Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run continuously, resulting in a spike in energy bills. If the system is not designed or installed in the correct way, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.
In contrast, the condensing unit is in danger if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the air conditioning when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.
Heavy rain, wind, hail or snow can inflict damage on a home's outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can block airflow, cut down on system efficiency or hammer away at the metal. When water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting might occur, shortening the lifetime of your system.
The outdoor AC unit is vulnerable to extreme weather, but you can take measures to safeguard it. Here’s how to protect your air conditioner from harsh incoming weather:
- Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to work as intensely, increasing efficiency and lengthening the unit’s life span. If possible, position the air conditioning unit 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 winter season or when severe weather is predicted, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. Don't forget, though, to 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 cost-effective measure to enhance your AC unit’s operating efficiency. After all, a regularly serviced air conditioner is less likely to fail under the stress of elevated temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and comprehensive inspections ensure your system remains 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 damage your AC unit’s electrical components. Installing a surge protector adds another form of defense. On the other hand, you could turn off your HVAC equipment during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
- Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Strong winds can cause the outdoor AC unit to fall over or move. Also, rising water can cover the internal components. Be sure your outdoor unit is properly 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 hazardous projectiles. This helps avoid 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 make sure your air conditioner is able to continue to operate safety:
- Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go outside and view your unit. Search for problems108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
- Clear debris: Clear away any leaves, tree limbs and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
- Inspect for water damage: If your area sustained flooding, examine your HVAC equipment for water damage. If you suspect water has entered the unit, it’s a very good idea not to turn it on until you have it professionally inspected.
- Schedule a quick 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 critical to be prepared and recognize how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your AC works safely and efficiently. Our professionals can handle all your AC service needs in Dallas, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather alter your indoor comfort—reach out to a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.