How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner
When summer reaches its peak, your air conditioner may work double-time to keep your Melbourne home cool and comfortable. While a lot 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 impact your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and the length of its working life. Discover the many ways weather can have an impact on your air conditioning and how to protect it.
Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner
Several different weather conditions may change how well your air conditioning unit functions. On particularly hot days, the AC must work harder to achieve the set temperature. The larger workload can lead to an overburdened system, causing a breakdown.
High humidity also creates a challenge. Even though air conditioners are designed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put extra pressure on the system. This may result in diminished performance and a home that your AC isn't able to cool as well.
Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, resulting in a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or installed correctly, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.
Conversely, the condensing unit is at risk if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to use the AC when the outdoor unit is covered in ice might damage the compressor, limiting efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.
Substantial rain, wind, hail or snow can inflict damage on a home's outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can obstruct airflow, reduce system efficiency or hammer away at the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting may occur, shortening the lifetime of your system.
The outdoor AC unit is sensitive to extreme weather, but you can take preventive measures to safeguard it. Here’s how to protect your air conditioner from severe incoming weather:
- Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to work as intensely, enhancing efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, put the AC on the north or east side of your home or in another place that is shaded during the hot afternoon.
- Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers work as a protective shield. During the cooler months or when severe weather is predicted, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. Just make sure you don’t attempt to run the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
- Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Scheduled maintenance is a simple and easy measure to enhance your AC unit’s durability. After all, an efficient air conditioner is less likely to buckle 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 consequence of storms that can ruin your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds an additional form of defense. As an alternative, you can switch off your HVAC equipment during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
- Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Gusty winds can cause the outdoor AC unit to fall over or move. Also, rising water can flood the internal components. Make sure your outdoor unit is correctly secured and raised on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
- Clear your yard of debris: Make sure to 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 severe weather.
Checking on Your AC After a Storm
In the aftermath of very bad 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 outside and inspect your unit. Check for damage108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
- Clear debris: Clean off any leaves, sticks and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
- Inspect for water damage: If your neighborhood 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 evaluated.
- Schedule a prompt repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t postpone air conditioning repair, or you risk higher energy expenses, a reduced life span or total system disaster.
Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
No one wants to be impacted by severe weather, but it’s essential to be prepared and know how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your AC operates safely and efficiently. Our staff can handle all your AC service needs in Melbourne, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather impact your family's comfort—phone a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.