How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer hits its peak, your air conditioner may work extremely hard to keep your the U.S. home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, most areas of the country are no stranger to dangerous weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with extreme heat and humidity, can hinder your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and life span. Explore the many ways weather can influence 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 works. On particularly hot days, the AC must work harder to maintain the set temperature. The larger workload can lead to an overburdened system, causing a breakdown.

Extreme humidity also presents a challenge. Although air conditioners are made to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put stress on the system. This may result in reduced performance and a less comfortable home.


Prolonged high temperatures force your air conditioner to run constantly, resulting in a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or set up correctly, it may struggle to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

In contrast, the condensing unit is vulnerable if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to operate the air conditioning when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Significant rain, wind, hail or snow can harm your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can block airflow, cut down on system efficiency or damage the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting could occur, shortening the lifetime of your air conditioning.

Protecting Your Air Conditioner from Severe Weather

The outdoor AC unit is sensitive to dangerous weather, but you can take steps to take care of it. Here’s how to save your air conditioner from damaging incoming weather:

    • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to operate as intensely, enhancing efficiency and prolonging the unit’s life span. If possible, place the air conditioner 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 work as a protective shield. During the cooler months or when severe weather is expected, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. Don’t forget, though, to make sure you don’t attempt to operate the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
    • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Performing regular maintenance is a simple and easy measure to enhance your AC unit’s resilience. After all, a tuned-up air conditioner is less likely to fail under the stress of extreme temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and timely inspections ensure your system continues to be 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 harm your AC unit’s electrical components. Installing a surge protector adds an additional level of defense. As an alternative, you can easily power off your AC during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
    • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Gusty winds can cause the outdoor cooling unit to topple or move. Likewise, rising water can flood the internal elements. Be sure your outdoor unit is completely secured and lifted up 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 items that could become hazardous 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 function safety:

    • Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go out and view your unit. Check for issues such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
    • Clear debris: Clean off any leaves, tree limbs and other debris to maximize airflow and efficiency.
    • Check for water damage: If your property suffered flooding, look for water damage. If you suspect water entered the unit, it’s always better not to turn it on until you have it professionally serviced.
    • Schedule a prompt repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t delay 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 crucial to be prepared and know how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your air conditioning system performs safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in the U.S., including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather alter your family’s comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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