Rain in and of itself is not a threat to either a central system or window unit AC. In fact, moderate rainfall is even beneficial for removing vegetation and debris stuck in the unit.
However, there are certain weather patterns air conditioning owners should prepare for to keep their equipment properly maintained.
In the south west, owners have to be extra careful regarding flash floods, and in the Northern regions snow is always on the mind during winter.
Despite these concerns, it is important to note that your AC is specifically designed to withstand weather.
Your Outdoor AC Unit is Built to Withstand Weather Patterns:
The overall design and materials used in an AC unit ensures it will be kept safe and operational in adverse weather conditions, such as rain and snow.
Furthermore, to keep your system at peak performance, make sure to wash off all leaf and dirt buildup. Don’t be afraid to get the electrical parts wet – they are designed to be safe when in contact with water.
In addition to rain itself, the resulting humidity can demand extra performance from your AC unit. This will wear out the unit and increase your energy bill. To see if your system is overtaxed, check for moisture in the air, a moldy smell, or window fog.
If you witness any of these signs, you should consider upgrading to a larger unit. Alternatively, a more budget conscious option is to add a dehumidifier attachment.
Are Window AC Units Also Safe in Rainy Weather?
Window AC units are able to withstand rainy weather just like central AC. However, you should make sure your unit is sealed properly to prevent water leakage into your home during a rainstorm.
This will also increase the efficiency of the machine, and help to prevent added humidity often attributed to window AC units. Since these smaller units aren’t often looked after by professional engineers, it is imperative you keep them operating properly.
What to do to Protect your AC Unit During Severe Weather Conditions:
Flash floods, hurricanes, and extreme snowstorms are all examples of severe weather conditions.
These events have the potential to completely submerge your AC unit in water or snow, both of which can result in a short circuit and the destruction of the unit. Lightning strikes on the unit pose a similar risk, especially if it is already wet.
For high levels of rainfall or coastal flooding, it is imperative you have a drainage system in place to keep rising water at bay. Otherwise, your unit could end up completely submerged.
Furthermore, placing your unit on top of a slab will help keep it above the water level. A base that is several feet tall and made with concrete will offer the best protection. While installing the foundation, make sure any wires connecting the AC unit to your house are secured and connected.
Additionally, it is a good idea to put a cover over the AC before the storm to prevent debris from entering and damaging vital parts. Do not use a plastic wrap for this, since that will entrap moisture, leading to corrosion.
You should also remove unsecured furniture around the unit, so it is not struck in the event of heavy wind.
If necessary, you should power down your AC unit. An AC running during grim weather conditions runs the risk of power surges and short circuits, capable of causing irreparable damage.
For central units, turn the system off at both the thermostat and the circuit breaker. Window units need to be unplugged.
Once weather conditions permit, inspect your AC for damages. Dirt and leaves need to be rinsed while wearing a pair of gloves, before turning it back on, to make sure the system is functioning at full capacity.
As you can see, AC units are well-built and more than capable of surviving rainy days. Regular checkups will ensure you maintain a working machine capable of efficient operation in many weather conditions. However, when severe weather is on the way, follow these steps to keep your system safe.