Why Rain Can Actually Help Your HVAC Performance

March 26, 2020 1:21 am Published by Leave your thoughts

There are a lot of environmental factors that can have a negative impact on the efficiency and overall performance of your HVAC system. Rain, however, is one that can actually improve your air conditioning performance.

Unless the conditions are extreme, rain on the outdoor condenser will naturally clean it, and will help cool off the hot refrigerant being passed through the system’s condenser coil. Consider it nature’s free contribution to AC unit maintenance in Oregon City, OR!

You should know how air conditioning works

To better understand why rain can actually be helpful to a central air conditioning system, you need to have at least a basic understanding of how such a system works.

With most central air conditioning systems, you’ll have an outdoor unit that features a condensing coil, a large fan and a compressor. The compressor is tasked with pressurizing the refrigerant before it gets sent into the evaporator coil that’s located in the air handler. It’s at that point where the refrigerant pulls the heat out of the air in your home. The refrigerant will then go back to the condenser and pass through the condensing coil. The fan pulls the air over and through the coil, helping to cool down the heated refrigerant. That refrigerant than goes back to the compressor and the process starts over. It continues to go through this cycle until your home has reached the desired temperature setting as stated on your thermostat.

When it rains, the water naturally cools the coil, and can also wash away any debris that has started to collect on it. Dirty coils are more insulated and thus more likely to collect heat, so getting it cleaned will keep the coil cooler and make the air conditioner perform more efficiently. This is also why it’s beneficial for you to clean off the condensing coil with a garden hose and remove any plants or shrubs growing near it—you want to remove as many obstacles as possible to ensure adequate airflow. In addition, HVAC technicians will always include condensing coil cleaning as part of their annual inspections and maintenance.

There is, of course, such a thing as too much rain. Extremely heavy rains could actually submerge the condenser, causing some damage to the system. Other issues associated with heavy storms in the summer months, such as lightning strikes and power outages, could cause issues with your air conditioning and HVAC. If you know you’re going to have some severe weather in your upcoming forecast, you might consider shutting off the air conditioner at both the thermostat and the circuit breaker, which will minimize any potential damage from lighting or power surges.

This should give you at least a bit of an idea of how air conditioning systems work and why you generally don’t have to worry about rain having a negative impact on their performance. For more information about the most important aspects of AC unit maintenance you need to be aware of, we encourage you to contact L & J Heating & Cooling today about AC unit cleaning in Oregon City, OR.

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