The designer and manufacturer of your air conditioner (AC) planned for the system — particularly the condenser unit that sits outside the house — to operate in different weather scenarios. Thus, your AC can run whether it rains or snows as long as the weather is not too extreme. Unfortunately, extreme weather can affect the AC's operations.
Below is an overview of how a strong storm can interfere with the AC's cooling ability.
A power surge occurs when the electrical supply in your house temporarily spikes. A power surge is dangerous because electrical appliances can only operate safely within designated current limits.
For example, a central AC that outputs 24,000 BTUs can draw a current between 15 and 20 amperes. Electrical components of such an AC may suffer damage if a power surge sends a current of, say, 30 amperes. Depending on the damage, the AC may malfunction and leave your house warm.
Air conditioners are electromechanical appliances that rely on electricity to operate. The electricity powers several components of the AC, such as the motors that run the fans. Unfortunately, a serious storm can damage power transmission systems and trigger a power blackout. If that happens, your AC won't run at all and your house will remain uncomfortable.
Debris accumulation won't stop your AC from working, but it will interfere with the AC's cooling efficiency. Most of the critical operations of the AC require efficient air circulation. The AC requires air circulation to collect stale air, disperse cool air, and exchange heat with the outside environment.
During a storm, debris can accumulate on different parts of the AC and interfere with air circulation. For example, mud, grass, and windblown debris over the condenser coil interfere with heat exchange.
Lastly, an extreme storm can also cause physical damage to the condenser unit. The physical damage can come in various ways. For example, strong winds can crash large debris against the condenser unit and damage the unit's delicate fins. The storm can also break tree branches or uproot trees that may damage the condenser unit if they fall on it.
Also, extremely strong winds or floodwater can displace the condenser unit. In some cases, the displacement may be so serious that it loosens the connections to the unit.
You need to get an AC technician to inspect your cooling system after a serious storm. The inspection is particularly necessary if you suspect electrical damage. Don't run the AC before the diagnosis and repair of affected parts since you might worsen the damage.
For more information, contact an AC repair service like Astro Air Inc.