When summer reaches its peak, your air conditioning may work double-time to keep your Miami 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 extreme heat and humidity, can affect your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and life span. Learn about the many ways weather can influence your AC and how to protect it.
Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner
Various weather conditions may change how well your air conditioning unit works. On particularly hot days, the AC is forced to work harder to maintain the set temperature. The increased workload might lead to an overloaded system, causing a breakdown.
High humidity also presents a potentially tricky situation. Although air conditioners are designed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put extra pressure on the system. This may result in diminished performance and a less comfortable home.
Heat waves force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, leading to a spike in energy bills. If your AC system is not designed or put in in the correct way, it may struggle to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.
Conversely, the condensing unit is at risk if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to use the air conditioning when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, limiting efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.
Substantial rain, wind, hail or snow can damage a home's outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can obstruct airflow, reduce system efficiency or dent the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting might occur, shortening the life of your unit.
The outdoor AC unit is vulnerable to dangerous weather, but you can take measures 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 vigorously, enhancing efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, position 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 provide 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. However, make sure you don’t attempt to run the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
- Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Scheduled maintenance is a cost-effective measure to enhance your AC unit’s operating efficiency. After all, a regularly serviced air conditioner is less likely to fail under the stress of high 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 result of storms that can damage your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds an extra level of defense. As an alternative, 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. Similarly, rising water can flood the internal components. Ensure your outdoor unit is correctly secured and lifted up on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
- Clear your yard of debris: Make sure to keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose objects that could become dangerous projectiles. This helps prevent 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 ensure your air conditioner is able to continue to function safety:
- Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go outside and inspect your unit. Check for damage108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
- Clear debris: Clear away any leaves, sticks and other debris to improve airflow and efficiency.
- Check for water damage: If your neighborhood suffered flooding, examine your HVAC equipment 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 postpone air conditioning repair, or you risk higher energy bills, a reduced life span or total system disaster.
Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
No one wants to feel the impact of 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 operates safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in Miami, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather affect your family's comfort—reach out to a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.