When summer hits its peak, your air conditioner may work double-time to keep your Fort Wayne home cool and comfortable. While many summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to severe 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. Learn about the many ways weather can have an impact on your air conditioning and how to protect it.
Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner
A variety of weather conditions can alter how well your air conditioning unit functions. On very hot days, the AC must work harder to attain and hold the set temperature. The larger workload can lead to an overworked system, causing a breakdown.
Excessive humidity also creates a challenge. Even though air conditioners are made26 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 less comfortable home.
Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, causing a spike in energy bills. If the system is not designed or installed correctly, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.
Alternatively, the condensing unit is in danger if it functions in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the air conditioner when the outdoor unit is covered in ice might damage the compressor, decreasing 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, reduce system efficiency or hammer away at the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting could occur, shortening the lifetime of your system.
The outdoor AC unit is vulnerable to extreme weather, but you can take measures to take care of 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 operate as hard, 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 in another spot that is shaded during the hot afternoon.
- Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers provide a protective shield. During the off-season or when severe weather is forecast, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and significant snowfall. Don't forget, though, to make sure you don’t attempt to turn on the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
- Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Scheduled maintenance is a proactive 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 high temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and comprehensive 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 ruin your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds another layer of defense. On the other hand, you could 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 tip or move. Also, rising water can flood the internal components. Make sure your outdoor unit is properly secured and elevated on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
- Clear your yard of debris: Always keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose things that could become harmful projectiles. This helps protect against 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 ensure your air conditioner is able to continue to run safety:
- Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go outdoors and inspect your unit. Look for issues108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
- Clear debris: Get rid of any leaves, tree limbs and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
- Check for water damage: If your neighborhood sustained flooding, check for water damage. If you believe water got into the unit, it’s a very good idea not to turn it on until you have it professionally serviced.
- Schedule a prompt repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t postpone air conditioning repair, or you risk increased energy costs, 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 works safely and efficiently. Our staff can handle all your AC service needs in Fort Wayne, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather influence your family's comfort—reach out to a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.