If you live somewhere that enjoys warm summers then there is a good chance that you have installed an air conditioning system or you are talking to an expert in air conditioning sales about having one fitted. This is a good idea as it can help to maintain the temperature of your home and the quality of your air. However, you may be wondering how well the unit survives considering it is outside in all weathers, including the torrential downpours you get in the winter.
The good news is that, in most cases, rain has no effect on your air conditioning system.
What Is Outside?
The part of the air conditioning unit that sits outside your home is the condenser and the compressor. This is traditionally the noisiest part of the unit which is part of the reason it is outside your home. The compressor and condenser work together to force warm air through them and extract the heat from that air, allowing cool air to be pushed into your home.
These components are generally made from copper, aluminum, plastic, and a variety of other materials that will not usually suffer from water exposure. In addition, all electrical connections are sealed and drainage channels are created to ensure water is directed away from the unit and its key components.
Very Heavy Rain
In most cases, the outside portion of your air conditioning will be situated fairly high on the wall. However, it is possible that the unit is fitted closer to the ground and that in very heavy rain the condenser will be partially or completely submerged. In this instance, it is still unlikely to be damaged but you should switch the unit off at the main breakers.
If it is submerged for a long period of time it is a good idea to have an engineer inspect it before you turn it back on.
You should also note that heavy rain and storms can create debris that can be thrown against the air conditioner. This can damage it and is the only time you should consider covering the unit.
However, if you cover the unit then you are preventing the moisture on the condenser from evaporating properly. This can cause damage and is the reason you should turn the unit off when it is covered. Water that sits inside the unit for extended periods, specifically if it is trapped, is more likely to cause corrosion issues.
Rain is unlikely to cause an issue for your air conditioning unit. But, rain often contains dust and debris, this can collect on the unit and impede its efficiency, preventing it from cooling properly. It will also stress the unit and shorten its lifespan.
To prevent this you need to ensure the unit is cleaned properly and regularly, removing any debris and buildup of dirt. With a little care and routine maintenance, the air conditioner will last for years, keeping you cool when you most need it.