Summer is Here…
Which means rain, and lots of it. But is your air conditioning system safe? Fortunately, the outdoor components of central air conditioners are designed to withstand the elements.
But when the summer brings heavy storms, is your AC really safe from the rain?
Protect Your AC From Rain Before the Storm
Most of the parts on your outdoor compressor are well suited to getting rained on!
Most of the parts on your outdoor unit are aluminum, copper, or metal and are specially designed to resist rain damage. Even heavy downpours shouldn’t have a negative effect on your air conditioner, but there are some other risks that come with a storm.
While rain specifically most likely won’t damage your unit, there are the high winds that come along with storms to worry about.
Falling objects like large tree branches can damage your AC and dent the fan grill.
Leaves and debris can also fall from the nature surrounding your unit and get inside of the case.
To protect your air conditioner in a storm, you’ll want to clean your yard and remove large objects that could become easily airborne and damage your condenser.
You’ll still want to inspect your condenser inside and outside of the case to be sure there is no damage. Remove any debris you come across, because they block the flow of air to your unit and this makes your AC not cool as well.
Protecting Your AC From Rain With Tarps
Some homeowners decide to cover the condenser unit with a trap during inclement weather.
If you do this, you should stop immediately.
Although it seems like you’re protecting the unit, what actually happens is the trap prevents water from evaporating and traps it inside of your condenser. Because the water is blocked from evaporating, trapped condensation will rot the wiring and rubber inside of your unit.
Covering your unit also increases corrosion because the water is sitting around and unable to escape.
Your condenser is designed to be able to stay dry just by circulating air through the system!
Plus, covering your AC unit for long period of time makes it attractive to vermin like mice and squirrels. When small animals create a cozy home in your AC, they can cause damage by biting wires.
There are very few times where covering a condenser unit is actually beneficial, because condensers are designed to withstand rain, snow, hail, and rough outdoor conditions.
The only people who should consider covering their units are people who live in cold climates, when your home particularly creates a lot of ice on the roof. In this situation, the cover can prevent the top of your unit from becoming damaged by falling ice.
In Florida, we don’t have to deal with falling ice – so the cover does more harm by preventing water from evaporating than good.
When Should You Cover Your AC in Florida?
The only time that you should consider covering your condenser in Florida is during a hurricane. During extremely strong storms, it can help prevent damage to secure something strong along the sides.
To protect your AC unit from damage by airborne objects, turn the unit off and secure plywood to the sides of your condenser. You can remove this covering immediately after the storm so the unit can dry out.
If you expect there will be flooding, you should also shut the system off and cover it. Turn the system off, along the withe circuit breaker, and then cover it with an A/C cover to keep water out. Remember to remove the cover as soon as the flooding is over, you want good airflow so that your system can dry.
When Can Rain Hurt Your Air Conditioner?
Thankfully your condenser laughs in the face of most weather! These pieces of machinery can withstand even the heaviest rain, sleet, snow, and hail.
The only time your condenser is really at risk is in the event of the flood. Your AC unit won’t be able to withstand being submerged in water.
Otherwise, it’s perfectly safe to use your air conditioner when it’s raining outside, or in any wether. Unless there is an issue with your unit, you should be able to be comfortable in all weather conditions.
Repair Water Damaged AC After Hurricane in West Palm Beach, Broward County, Fort Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach Florida
Has your system sustained damage after a hurricane or a big storm? Don’t stress, Engineered Air is here for you. Simply schedule an appointment here, and one of our friendly, licensed HVAC technicians will bring your soaked system back to life.