How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer gets to its peak, your air conditioner may work extremely hard to keep your Voorhees home cool and comfortable. While a lot of summer days are warm and beautiful, you may be no stranger to severe weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with significant heat and humidity, can affect 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 very hot days, the AC must work harder to attain and hold the set temperature. The additional workload might lead to an overworked system, causing a breakdown.

Excessive humidity also creates a potentially tricky situation. Although air conditioners are supposed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put extra pressure on the system. This can result in reduced performance and a less comfortable home.


Heat waves force your air conditioner to run constantly, leading to a spike in energy bills. If your AC system is not designed or installed correctly, it may not be able to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Conversely, the condensing unit is at risk if it functions in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to use the AC when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, decreasing efficiency and possibly wrecking your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Substantial rain, wind, hail or snow can damage your 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 might occur, shortening the lifetime of your unit.

The outdoor AC unit is vulnerable to extreme weather, but you can take measures to secure it. Here’s how to save your air conditioner from severe incoming weather:

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to work as vigorously, improving efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, put the air conditioning unit on the north or east side of your home or in another place that is shaded during the hot afternoon.
  • Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers are a protective shield. During the cooler months 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 operate the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Performing regular maintenance is a cost-effective 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 comprehensive inspections ensure your system remains 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 ruin your AC unit’s electrical components. Installing a surge protector adds an additional level of defense. As an alternative, you could switch off your HVAC equipment during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Gusty winds can cause the outdoor AC unit to topple or move. Likewise, rising water can cover the internal elements. Make sure your outdoor unit is correctly secured and elevated on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
  • Clear your yard of debris: Keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose items that could become hazardous projectiles. This helps avoid denting and other physical damage from severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of very bad 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. Search for problems108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Clean off any leaves, branches and other debris to improve airflow and efficiency.
  • Look for water damage: If your area suffered flooding, check for water damage. If you think water entered the unit, it’s always better not to turn it on until you have it professionally evaluated.
  • Schedule a timely repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t postpone air conditioning repair, or you risk increased energy bills, a reduced life span or total system breakdown.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to feel the impact of severe weather, but it’s essential to be prepared and understand how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your AC operates safely and efficiently. Our staff can handle all your AC service needs in Voorhees, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather affect your home's comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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