How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer hits its peak, your air conditioning may work double-time to keep your Livermore home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with high heat and humidity, can hinder your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and longevity. Learn about the many ways weather can affect your AC 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 functions. On especially hot days, the AC must work harder to achieve the set temperature. The larger workload might lead to an overworked system, causing a breakdown.

High humidity also presents a problem. Even though air conditioners are made26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put stress on the system. This may result in diminished performance and a less comfortable home.


Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run constantly, resulting in 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.

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 can damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly wrecking your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Substantial rain, wind, hail or snow can damage the outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can prevent airflow, reduce system efficiency or hammer away at the metal. Should water flood the system, corrosion or short-circuiting could occur, shortening the lifetime of your unit.

The outdoor AC unit is susceptible to severe weather, but you can take precautions 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, increasing efficiency and prolonging 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 winter season or when severe weather is forecast, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. However, 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 extreme temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and comprehensive inspections ensure your system stays in top-notch condition and is ready to face 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 layer of defense. On the other hand, you can easily power off your HVAC equipment during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Heavy winds can cause the outdoor AC unit to tip or move. Likewise, rising water can cover the internal parts. Be sure your outdoor unit is correctly secured and raised 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 things that could become harmful projectiles. This helps protect against denting and other physical damage from 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 examine your unit. Check for issues108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Clean off any leaves, twigs and other debris to maximize airflow and efficiency.
  • Inspect for water damage: If your property sustained flooding, check for water damage. If you think water has entered the unit, it’s always better not to turn it on until you have it professionally serviced.
  • Schedule a quick repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t put off air conditioning repair, or you risk high energy bills, a reduced life span or total system disaster.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to deal with severe weather, but it’s crucial 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 performs safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in Livermore, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather affect your indoor comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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