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April Showers Bring HVAC Issues – How Central Kansas Storms Can Impact Your Air Conditioner

You know April showers bring May flowers, but what does all this rain mean for your air conditioner? Luckily, your outdoor HVAC unit is designed to withstand harsh weather conditions such as rain, snow — even minor hail. Unfortunately, if your air conditioner needs service during extreme weather, you will have to wait for the weather to pass before a technician can provide service, especially if it’s located on the roof.

How Your System is Designed to Withstand Harsh Weather

In the “split” system common to houses throughout Central Kansas, one unit (housing the evaporator coil and blower) is located inside and the other (containing the compressor and condenser) is located outside. Your outdoor component is specifically designed for years of exposure to a wide range of harsh weather conditions. This is done by sealing electrical components from the rain and utilizing high-quality components that are resistant to corrosion and rust.

Despite the quality engineering Bryant provides, your HVAC system is still vulnerable to damage from falling tree limbs, wind-driven debris and flooding rains.

It is always a good idea to have your air conditioner checked following major storms that include heavy winds and hail as these can cause issues with your system.

Is Your Outdoor HVAC Unit at Risk in the Rain?

Even the heaviest rain will have no measurable effect on the operation of your outdoor HVAC unit. It’s perfectly safe to run your heater or air conditioner while it’s raining or storming outside. Your outdoor unit is really only susceptible to environmental damage when flooding occurs. Should it become submerged, its wiring, electronics, and motor could get damaged. The heat pump can work in the rain, but not in standing water.

If the outdoor unit is partially or fully submerged, turn off the HVAC system at the electrical panel. Have a professional inspect the system before turning it back on again.

Should You Cover the Outdoor Unit?

We do not advised you to cover your outdoor HVAC unit, regardless of the type. Your unit was designed to withstand years of moisture and harsh weather conditions, and it depends on natural ventilation to allow moisture to evaporate before it causes corrosion or other damage. Covering your outside unit can do more hard than good as it traps snow, leaves and debris inside. Trapped condensation can destroy equipment – and quickly.

Similarly, do not allow anything to sit on top or within a two-foot radius of your outdoor HVAC unit, especially if it is running. It requires proper airflow in the surrounding area in order to do its work. If you have legitimate concern about debris falling into your unit due to its location, it may be possible for you to build some sort of awning above it, but please give us a call to ensure your air conditioner has proper ventilation before installing anything over your unit.

Can HVAC Technicians Service Units in the Rain?

As a general rule, Comfort Pro does not provide service to outdoor units during inclement weather. Besides the danger to our technicians of working on electrical components in the rain, opening your air conditioner up allows moisture into areas that are typically sealed up from the elements. Opening up your air conditioner during inclement weather can do more damage by introducing moisture to corrosion-susceptible components.

Units located on roofs are even more dangerous, increasing the risk of slip-and-fall injuries and potential exposure to lightning strike.

In emergency situations we may dispatch HVAC technicians to your home during heavy weather, but please understand that we may have no choice but to wait until it clears before fixing your unit.

If you do happen to notice leaks or signs of water or storm damage on or around your HVAC system, please contact Comfort Pro in Great Bend, Larned and Russell before more damage can occur.

Contact Comfort Pro – your local HVAC, plumbing and air quality experts.

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