How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer gets to its peak, your air conditioning may work extra hard to keep your Denver home cool and comfortable. While a lot of summer days are warm and beautiful, you may be no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with high heat and humidity, can affect your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and life span. Explore the many ways weather can affect 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 works. On very hot days, the AC is forced to work harder to maintain the set temperature. The increased workload might lead to an overburdened system, causing a breakdown.

High humidity also presents a problem. While air conditioners are supposed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can strain the system. This can result in reduced performance and a home that your AC isn't able to cool as well.


Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, causing a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or put in correctly, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

In contrast, the condensing unit is at risk if it functions in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to operate the air conditioner when the outdoor unit is covered in ice might damage the compressor, decreasing efficiency and possibly wrecking your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Significant rain, wind, hail or snow can damage your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can prevent airflow, cut down on system efficiency or hammer away at the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting may occur, shortening the life of your system.

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

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to operate as intensely, increasing efficiency and lengthening the unit’s life span. If possible, put 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 work as 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 deep snowfall. Don't forget, though, to 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 overall health. After all, a tuned-up air conditioner is less likely to fail under the stress of high temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and detailed inspections ensure your system remains in top-notch condition and is ready to face any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common byproduct of storms that can harm your AC unit’s electrical components. Installing a surge protector adds an additional level of defense. As an alternative, you can 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 tip or move. Also, rising water can cover the internal components. 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: 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 the course of severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of very bad weather, follow these steps to make sure 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 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.
  • Inspect for water damage: If your area has experienced flooding, examine your HVAC equipment for water damage. If you believe water has entered the unit, it’s best not to turn it on until you have it professionally inspected.
  • Schedule a timely repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t delay air conditioning repair, or you risk high energy costs, a reduced life span or total system failure.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to be impacted by 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 HVAC system performs safely and efficiently. Our professionals can handle all your AC service needs in Denver, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather influence your family's comfort—phone a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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