How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer reaches its peak, your AC may work extra hard to keep your Tulsa home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to dangerous weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with extreme heat and humidity, can impact your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and longevity. Learn about the many ways weather can affect your AC and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


Various weather conditions may change how well your air conditioning unit functions. On especially hot days, the AC must work harder to attain and hold the set temperature. The larger workload might lead to an overworked system, causing a breakdown.

Excessive humidity also creates a problem. Even though air conditioners are designed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put extra pressure on the system. This might result in decreased performance and a home that your AC isn't able to cool as well.


Prolonged high temperatures force your air conditioner to run constantly, leading to a spike in energy bills. If your AC system is not designed or put in properly, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Alternatively, the condensing unit is in jeopardy if it functions in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to operate the AC when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, decreasing efficiency and possibly ruining your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Significant rain, wind, hail or snow can inflict damage on a home's outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can obstruct airflow, reduce system efficiency or damage the metal. When water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting may occur, shortening the lifetime of your unit.

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

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to operate as vigorously, increasing efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, put the air conditioner on the north or east side of your home or somewhere else shaded during the hot afternoon.
  • Invest in an air conditioner cover: AC covers provide a protective shield. During the cooler months or when severe weather is forecast, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and significant snowfall. Don't forget, though, to make sure you don’t attempt to run the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Scheduled maintenance is a simple and easy measure to enhance your AC unit’s durability. After all, a tuned-up air conditioner is less likely to fail under the stress of extreme temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and timely inspections ensure your system stays in top-notch condition and is ready to face any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common result of storms that can ruin your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds an extra layer of defense. As an alternative, you can easily turn off your AC during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Strong winds can cause the outdoor air conditioning unit to topple or move. Similarly, rising water can flow through the internal components. Ensure 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: Always keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose objects that could become dangerous projectiles. This helps prevent denting and other physical damage during severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of severe weather, follow these steps to be sure your air conditioner is able to continue to operate safety:

  • Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go out and inspect your unit. Look for damage108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Get rid of any leaves, twigs and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
  • Inspect for water damage: If your neighborhood suffered flooding, examine your HVAC equipment for water damage. If you think water has entered the unit, it’s always better not to turn it on until you have it professionally serviced.
  • Schedule a quick repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t delay air conditioning repair, or you risk higher energy bills, a reduced life span or total system disaster.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to deal with severe weather, but it’s essential to be prepared and know how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your air conditioner works safely and efficiently. Our professionals can handle all your AC service needs in Tulsa, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather alter your family's comfort—contact a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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