One thing that a lot of homeowners worry about is whether or not their air conditioning unit is going to be affected by the heavy rains that sometimes come during the year. The truth is that there are things that can happen to an AC unit during heavy rain and storms that are worth looking at regularly. Below are five common things that can happen to an AC unit due to rain and storms.
Components Can Be Damaged by Debris
Even the rain isn’t going to damage the area outside an AC unit, the high winds that often come with rain often will blow foreign objects like tree branches and leaves into your condenser’s fan grille. After a big storm with heavy winds, it’s a good idea to have your technician inspect your unit for any damage to make sure everything is OK.
Flooding can Ruin Electrical elements
A few inches of rain shouldn’t harm your AC unit, but standing water when you have flooding could affect it. If the floodwaters are under 15 inches, it shouldn’t reach your electrical components and moving parts. But if you experienced more than 15 inches of rain, then you should have someone check your AC unit out to make sure that there was no damage before turning it back on.
Rain can Cause Corrosion and AC Rust
The good news is that rain is going to evaporate if you have enough ventilation. A lot of homeowners cover up their AC unit when it’s not hot outside. But this could be a big mistake if the cover doesn’t have the right amount of ventilation. Without ventilation, moisture inside will get trapped. This corrosion is going to expose the unit’s internal components and damage them due to things like rust, corrosion and wire rot.
One thing to remember is that it’s not always the high winds or the water that is causing the damage. Sometimes critters will go into your AC unit to seek some shelter. If the unit’s not running while a storm is going on because it’s winter time or because the temperatures have dropped enough that you don’t need it, there’s a good chance that there is some critter that has taken up refuge in your unit. If the unit hasn’t been running for a while, the creature might have taken up residence. The materials that they use for nesting can jam your moving parts, and they might start gnawing on the wires in the unit. You want to have someone come out and take a look and make sure that you have no unwelcome guests in your unit.
Hail & lightning
A lot of times, a heavy rainstorm will bring hail. Hail also comes with tornadoes. Hail can damage an air-conditioning unit.
Lightning is also something that can damage your unit. Even though it’s doubtful that it’s going to strike the unit itself, it can hit your home, causing electrical surges. A power surge will often damage the electronics in your home and the mechanicals, which includes your air conditioning unit. It’s a good idea to install a surge protector for your whole house that can help avoid this situation.
Although you can’t avoid all of these problems that come with rain, there are things that you can do to minimize your damage. It’s a good idea to have your outdoor unit checked at least once a year, or after a heavy rain, to make sure that there is no damage. The sooner you have the issue taken care of and repaired, the better chance you have of saving your unit.