With Washington receiving roughly 150 days a year of rainfall, it is understandable to have some concern about whether all that wetness could have an adverse effect on your air conditioning unit. Thankfully, we are happy to report to you that your AC is designed to withstand a significant amount of precipitation.
The indoor component of your unit serves to protect the evaporator coil and blower from water while the outdoor component protects the compressor and condenser. The materials that preserve all of the different parts of your air conditioning unit are designed to withstand the elements, including rain. The electrical wiring is typically encased in corrosive-proof substances. Combined, these features make your air conditioning system resistant to seasonal bouts of harsh weather.
That being said, there are ways that rain can contribute to damage to your air conditioning system.
There are approximately 275,000 properties in Washington that have more than a 26% chance of being affected by flooding at some point within the next 30 years. Should your outdoor unit become completely submerged, there is the potential for the wiring, motor, and electronics to be compromised. There is the possibility that the unit could short-circuit, or even more serious damage could occur. Severe corrosion could also result from water that is not extracted from the AC system.
Some rain can actually be helpful in clearing away debris. Often, though, rough winds can accompany rainfall. These winds could potentially move around dust, dirt, twigs, tree limbs, or even outdoor furniture. Any of these things being carried by the wind could feasibly damage your unit. Smaller debris could also wind up clogging the condenser fan.
Hail can accompany rain and pose a far greater threat to your air conditioning unit than rainfall. Hail could cause damage to the outside of your unit by denting it. It could get inside the unit, leading to a malfunction. It is always worth checking your unit after there is hail to make sure that the unit is not damaged or that hail has not made its way inside.
Should You Cover Your Unit to Protect It From Weather?
If you are wondering if you should cover your outside unit to protect it from a rainstorm, the answer is no. As stated earlier, your unit is built to withstand the rain, and covering it could actually cause more problems than it fixes. A cover over your unit will likely attract rodents or other pests, who will utilize it for shelter in cold weather. Also, without proper ventilation, a cover will trap moisture inside. This could lead to mold forming, which could then blow around inside your home. The excess moisture could also cause corrosion of the equipment.
Protecting Your Unit From Flood Damage
Even if your unit becomes only partially submerged during a heavy storm, there is the potential for damage to the unit. In order to safeguard against this, the outside unit should be installed on a raised platform or base. You should also consider having a floodwall installed that keeps water from getting too close to it.
What to Do if a Fallen Limb Strikes Your Unit in a Rainstorm
After a storm passes, you should check to see if any tree limbs have damaged your unit. If one has, take video and pictures of the damage as well as record the date and time of the storm. Have your HVAC technician come out to assess the damage level and advise you on what next steps to take.
Protecting Your Unit by Inspecting the System Placement
Take the time when there is not bad weather to have a good look at where your outdoor unit is placed. Make sure that there is nothing nearby that could be a potential hazard for it. Efficient airflow of your unit requires there to be, at minimum, 2 feet of space that separates it from anything close by. If there is no simple way to minimize the risk of debris, falling tree limbs, or flooding due to the placement of the outside unit, speak to a technician about having it moved to a safer location.
A Regular Maintenance Plan
Regular maintenance of your air conditioning system is one of the best things you can do as a preventative measure against issues that stem from severe weather. You greatly reduce the chances of your unit suffering from any corrosion that could result from neglect in an area with heavy rain or other weather issues.
During a routine maintenance check, you can expect a technician to thoroughly inspect all of the moving parts of your unit. These include components like electrical connections, filters, evaporator coils, and condensate drain lines. The technician will also clean and inspect all parts of your unit, providing lubrication where it is needed, and test the unit to ensure it is free of any issues.
You can even set up a routine maintenance plan with your HVAC company so that you do not need to personally keep track of when to have a technician come out. By setting up a plan for routine maintenance with an HVAC company, you do not have to keep track of the dates all by yourself. It is already scheduled on the calendar for you. This helps take care of the stress of knowing if your air conditioning unit is holding up well to the weather.
Speak to a Professional About Weather Concerns and Your AC Unit
If you live in Vancouver, WA, Portland, OR, or Boise, ID, there is a Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning branch near you. We are a full-service heating, cooling, and plumbing company that services these cities and their surrounding areas. Our company has been in business for nearly four decades and has been family-owned and -operated since day one. Being family-owned has always had us operate from a set of values and standards for our business that include being honest, reliable, and fast.
We believe that there is no heating, cooling, and plumbing company with a better reputation than Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Our company has grown through the testimonials of customers, so we never lose sight of how important your satisfaction is with the services we provide. Our team does not consider a job finished until you are happy.
You can count on Apollo Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning 24 hours a day, even after hours. We respond swiftly to emergency service calls that occur past the time when most businesses are typically unavailable. You can also trust that there will be no hidden charges or unexpected costs on your bill. Our team is also the perfect marriage of old-school plumbing and high-tech know-how. We are well-versed in all systems while keeping up to date on the latest in technology and practices that are safe for the environment. If you are ready to have one of our trusted technicians make sure your AC unit is prepped to withstand the weather, give us a call today. We also offer heating services and indoor air quality tests.