How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer reaches its peak, your air conditioner may work extremely hard to keep your San Antonio home cool and comfortable. While a lot of summer days are warm and beautiful, most areas of the country are no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with high heat and humidity, can hinder your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and life span. Learn about the many ways weather can affect your air conditioning and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


Various weather conditions can alter how well your air conditioning unit works. On particularly hot days, the AC must work harder to achieve the set temperature. The additional workload might lead to an overworked system, causing a breakdown.

Excessive humidity also presents a potentially tricky situation. Although air conditioners are designed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can strain the system. This can result in reduced performance and a less comfortable home.


Heat waves force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, leading to a spike in energy bills. If your AC system is not designed or installed in the correct way, it may not be able to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Alternatively, the condensing unit is in jeopardy if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to use the air conditioner when the outdoor unit is covered in ice might damage the compressor, decreasing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Heavy rain, wind, hail or snow can harm a home's outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can prevent airflow, decrease system efficiency or dent the metal. When water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting might occur, shortening the lifetime of your air conditioning.

The outdoor AC unit is vulnerable to dangerous weather, but you can take precautions to protect it. Here’s how to save your air conditioner from damaging incoming weather:

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to operate as vigorously, enhancing efficiency and prolonging the unit’s life span. If possible, position the air conditioning unit on the north or east side of your home or in another spot that is shaded during the hot afternoon.
  • Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers are a protective shield. During the off-season or when severe weather is expected, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and deep snowfall. Don't forget, though, to make sure you don’t attempt to turn on the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Performing regular maintenance is a simple and easy measure to enhance your AC unit’s operating efficiency. After all, an efficient air conditioner is less likely to break 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 byproduct of storms that can ruin your AC unit’s electrical components. Installing a surge protector adds another layer of defense. As an alternative, you could power off your AC during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Heavy winds can cause the outdoor air conditioning unit to tip or move. Likewise, rising water can flow through the internal elements. Make sure your outdoor unit is completely secured and elevated on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
  • Clear your yard of debris: Keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose objects that could become dangerous projectiles. This helps prevent denting and other physical damage from severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of severe weather, follow these steps to ensure your air conditioner is able to continue to run safety:

  • Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go outdoors and examine your unit. Check for damage108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Remove any leaves, sticks and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
  • Look for water damage: If your property suffered flooding, look for water damage. If you think water has entered the unit, it’s best not to turn it on until you have it professionally evaluated.
  • Schedule a prompt repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t postpone air conditioning repair, or you risk higher energy costs, a reduced life span or total system breakdown.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to feel the impact of severe weather, but it’s essential to be prepared and recognize how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your air conditioner runs safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in San Antonio, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather influence your indoor comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.