How Do Heavy Rains Affect Your Air Conditioner

How Do Heavy Rains Affect Your Air Conditioner

Sometimes a summer rain shower can turn into a foot or more of water, causing floodwaters that wreak havoc on homes and businesses throughout our community.

How will that much water affect your air conditioner?

Air conditioner units are designed to withstand many of the extreme elements that nature sends its way each year. Outdoor units are designed to provide protection to the interior working components that enable it to perform at its peak levels throughout the summer months. Electrical components are sealed. The compressor and condenser are made up of heavy metals designed to take abuse.

But when is it all too much?

Storm Damage

When a heavy rainfall turns into a full blown storm, it carries high winds that deepen the damage. Leaves, twigs, branches, dirt and other debris become projectiles, damaging the condenser fan grille and penetrating the outside unit. If damage infiltrates the outside, the inside is at risk too. During your clean up process after a storm, inspect the outside unit to make sure it is still in prime condition, remove any tree branches fallen onto the unit before operating your system.

Standing Water and Flooding

The more it rains, the more water can rise. And if water stands for any period of time, it can harm moving parts inside your air conditioner system. A good rule of thumb is about 15 inches of water. If your area experiences this level of flooding following a heavy rain, it is advisable to have your unit professionally inspected before you restart it. This is why all units should be placed in a high enough position to avoid high waters. Flood waters under the home or in your basement can enter your furnace heat exchanger or blower compartment, the system must be inspected by a professional before it can be returned to service. The furnace is not designed to have any water enter the cabinet and can create a hazardous condition.

Corrosion

If standing water is allowed to penetrate your air conditioning unit, the internal parts can experience corrosion. You can avoid potential by wrapping your unit in the off-season. Choose a cover with proper ventilation holes. Never cover your unit in plastic wrap or bags, as this can seal in moisture and aggravate the situation. Moisture and condensation can build up, rotting wires and rubber, and rusting and corroding metal parts. When you cover the A/C unit, shut the breaker for the A/C off until you remove the cover next spring. Running an air conditioner with the cover on can damage the compressor.

Suspect your air conditioner may be vulnerable after a heavy rain storm? Give us a call today. A maintenance visit can determine if your unit is running correctly, and provide repairs to ensure it is operating as efficiently and safely as possible.

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