Does Rain Affect My Air Conditioner?

August 21, 2018 9:26 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There’s nothing quite like Oregon’s summer rains. The relaxing sound of the pitter-patter of raindrops on the front porch and the visual spectacle of the dark skies are true summer staples. But perhaps you can’t help but wonder whether the wet weather affects your air conditioning unit. The good news is that you can enjoy the rain without worrying about your air conditioner because it will not cause any damage to the unit. Most manufacturers design central air conditioners to withstand all but the most extreme weather. Let’s take a closer look at how rain can affect an air conditioner.

The effects of rain on your air conditioner

It is perfectly safe to use an air conditioner while it is raining. Rain is a natural phenomenon that has, in fact, been known to improve the performance of residential HVAC systems in Oregon City, OR. The outdoor condenser contains a condensing coil, a large fan and a compressor. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant before sending it into the evaporator within the air handler. It then extracts the heat from your home’s air before moving back to the condenser and flowing through the coil. Next, the fan pulls air through the coil to help dissipate the heat that was collected by the refrigerant. This process continues until the temperature set on the thermostat is reached.

Over time, the coil may overheat, which will affect the performance of the system. However, rain cools the coil and washes away any accumulated dust. Cleaning the coil should be a part of your annual maintenance process to avoid significant accumulation, so just think of it as the rain actually helping to keep the unit in top shape.

When the AC is at risk

The AC is only really at risk in the event of a flood. That’s because most units can’t withstand being completely submerged in water. If this were to happen, the system should be shut off entirely using the breakers in the main electrical panel. Obviously, that would be an extreme circumstance and you would likely have many bigger problems to worry about. The unit should be inspected by an air conditioning contractor before being turned back on if the system was submerged for a significant amount of time.

That doesn’t mean your AC is completely safe during a storm. Lightning strikes and power outages could cause significant damage to the unit. It’s a good idea to turn the AC off at the thermostat and the circuit breaker to minimize the damage caused by a power surge or a lightning strike if an especially severe storm is in the forecast.

Call L & J Heating & Cooling for all your AC needs

Call the professionals at L & J Heating & Cooling if you have any concerns about your air conditioning system following a storm. Our team specializes in installing, maintaining and repairing residential HVAC systems in Oregon City, OR. Our friendly, knowledgeable associates will go above and beyond to ensure you and your family are always comfortable. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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