When it rains outside, you may wonder if your outdoor HVAC unit will be safe. After all, water and electricity don’t mix, right? Although this is true, outdoor units are made to handle all sorts of weather – including rain!
At HVAC Precision Experts, we know a lot about heating and cooling systems, which is why we want to share how rain affects your outdoor unit. Although rain alone doesn’t usually cause any damage, there are some weather conditions to watch out for as a homeowner.
How Storms Affect Your Outdoor Unit
There usually won’t be any rain damage to outdoor unit components, especially if there’s just a brief shower. In fact, a little rain can help wash out any debris and dirt that is lodged in the unit, which helps the unit be more efficient. However, rain storms that bring lightning, flooding and high winds can damage your outdoor unit.
Since your condenser unit is electrical, if lightning happens to strike the unit, this could cause significant damage. A strike can char and overheat the electrical components and cause the unit to stop working completely. If there is a serious storm on the horizon, consider shutting off your HVAC system and covering the outdoor unit with a piece of plywood.
Another threat that torrential rain poses to your outdoor unit is flooding. Most of the electrical components in your outdoor unit are insulated against water damage, however, flooding can cause the system to short circuit. When this happens, the unit can overheat, leading to a breakdown.
If you experience a storm with flooding, contact your local HVAC specialist to inspect the unit for damage. Water that rises above 15 inches is typically considered a threat to your HVAC system since outdoor units were not designed to be submerged in water.
Although rain won’t damage your outdoor unit, the wind that accompanies a rainstorm can cause significant damage. Flying debris can hit the unit, leading to exterior damage that can lead to the failure of interior components as well. Additionally, dirt and debris may become lodged in the unit, causing it to run less efficiently.
How To Prevent Storm Damage
The best way to protect your outdoor unit from storm damage is to shut it off and cover it ahead of a big storm. Either place a weatherproof tarp or a secured piece of plywood over the unit to protect it from damage. It’s important to note that a tarp should only be placed over the unit for a short amount of time since it can trap water and cause rusting over time.
If you want to protect your unit during the winter, simply place a piece of plywood over the unit to protect it from snow. Don’t place a plastic cover or tarp over the unit since this can lead to rust.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance Today!
If your outdoor unit has been damaged by a storm or you need help with other Culpeper HVAC repairs, reach out to HVAC Precision Experts. Our team of professional heating and cooling specialists can help you get your system up and running so you and your family can keep living in comfort. Call us today to schedule an appointment!