How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer gets to its peak, your air conditioning may work double-time to keep your Elkhart home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, most areas of the country are no stranger to severe weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with significant 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 influence your air conditioner and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


Various weather conditions may change how well your air conditioning unit performs. On particularly hot days, the AC must work harder to maintain the set temperature. The additional workload could lead to an overburdened system, causing a breakdown.

Excessive humidity also presents a problem. Even though air conditioners are supposed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can strain the system. This might result in decreased performance and a home that isn't as comfortable.


Prolonged high temperatures force your air conditioner to run continuously, causing a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or put in properly, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Alternatively, the condensing unit is in danger if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the air conditioning when the outdoor unit is covered in ice might damage the compressor, decreasing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Substantial rain, wind, hail or snow can harm the outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can block airflow, cut down on system efficiency or hammer away at the metal. When water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting may occur, shortening the life of your air conditioning.

The outdoor AC unit is sensitive to dangerous weather, but you can take precautions to safeguard it. Here’s how to shield 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, improving efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, put the AC on the north or east side of your home or somewhere else shaded during the hot afternoon.
  • Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers work as a protective shield. During the winter season or when severe weather is forecast, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. Just make sure you don’t attempt to turn on the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Performing regular maintenance is a proactive measure to enhance your AC unit’s resilience. After all, a regularly serviced air conditioner is less likely to buckle under the stress of high 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 consequence of storms that can damage your AC unit’s electrical components. Installing a surge protector adds an additional level of defense. On the other hand, you can easily turn off your AC during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Strong winds can cause the outdoor air conditioning unit to topple or move. Likewise, rising water can cover the internal elements. Make 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 avoid denting and other physical damage during severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of severe weather, follow these steps to be sure 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 problems108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Remove any leaves, sticks and other debris to improve airflow and efficiency.
  • Check for water damage: If your area suffered flooding, check for water damage. If you think water has entered the unit, it’s best not to turn it on until you have it professionally inspected.
  • 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 breakdown.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to be impacted by severe weather, but it’s essential to be prepared and recognize how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your air conditioner operates safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in Elkhart, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather alter your indoor comfort—reach out to a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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