How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer gets to its peak, your AC may work extremely hard to keep your Fort Worth home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to severe weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with extreme heat and humidity, can affect your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and the length of its working life. Explore the many ways weather can have an impact on your air conditioner and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


A variety of weather conditions may change how well your air conditioning unit performs. On very hot days, the AC is forced to work harder to maintain the set temperature. The additional workload might lead to an overloaded system, causing a breakdown.

High humidity also poses a potentially tricky situation. Even though air conditioners are supposed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put extra pressure on the system. This can result in reduced performance and a less comfortable home.


Periods of very hot weather force your air conditioner to run continuously, causing a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or set up in the correct way, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Alternatively, the condensing unit is at risk if operated in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the AC when the outdoor unit is covered in ice can damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Substantial rain, wind, hail or snow can damage your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can obstruct airflow, cut down on system efficiency or dent the metal. Should water flood the system, corrosion or short-circuiting might occur, shortening the life span of your air conditioning.

The outdoor AC unit is susceptible to extreme weather, but you can take preventive measures to take care of 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 run as vigorously, improving efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, put the AC on the north or east side of your home or in another place 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 expected, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and deep snowfall. Just make sure you don’t attempt to operate the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Routine maintenance is a simple and easy measure to enhance your AC unit’s durability. After all, an efficient 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 stays in top-notch condition and is ready to keep you cool and comfortable in any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common consequence of storms that can harm your AC unit’s electrical elements. Installing a surge protector adds an extra form of defense. As an alternative, you could turn off your air conditioning during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Strong winds can cause the outdoor cooling unit to topple or move. Similarly, rising water can flow through the internal parts. Ensure your outdoor unit is completely secured and lifted up 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 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 outdoors and view your unit. Check for problems108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Remove any leaves, tree limbs and other debris to improve airflow and efficiency.
  • Check for water damage: If your area has experienced flooding, examine your HVAC equipment for water damage. If you believe water entered the unit, it’s best not to turn it on until you have it professionally inspected.
  • Schedule a quick repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t put off air conditioning repair, or you risk higher energy costs, a reduced life span or total system failure.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to feel the impact of severe weather, but it’s essential 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 runs safely and efficiently. Our professionals can handle all your AC service needs in Fort Worth, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather influence your home's comfort—reach out to a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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