How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer gets to its peak, your AC may work double-time to keep your Savannah home cool and comfortable. While a lot of summer days are warm and beautiful, you may be no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with extreme heat and humidity, can affect your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and longevity. Learn about the many ways weather can influence your air conditioner and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


Various weather conditions can alter how well your air conditioning unit functions. On especially hot days, the AC has to work harder to attain and hold the set temperature. The larger workload could lead to an overburdened system, causing a breakdown.

Extreme humidity also poses a challenge. Even though air conditioners are supposed26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put stress on the system. This might result in decreased performance and a less comfortable home.


Prolonged high temperatures force your air conditioner to run much more than usual, resulting in a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or put in properly, it may struggle to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

In contrast, the condensing unit is at risk if it functions in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the air conditioner when the outdoor unit is covered in ice can damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly wrecking your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Heavy rain, wind, hail or snow can damage your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can prevent airflow, decrease system efficiency or damage the metal. When water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting could occur, shortening the life span of your unit.

The outdoor AC unit is sensitive to extreme weather, but you can take preventive measures to take care of 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 run as hard, increasing efficiency and lengthening the unit’s life span. If possible, place the AC 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 are a protective shield. During the cooler months or when severe weather is predicted, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy snowfall. However, make sure you don’t attempt to turn on the air conditioner while the outdoor unit is covered.
  • Maintain your HVAC system regularly: Scheduled maintenance is a proactive measure to enhance your AC unit’s resilience. After all, an efficient air conditioner is less likely to buckle under the stress of elevated temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and timely inspections ensure your system continues to be in top-notch condition and is ready to deal with any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common byproduct of storms that can ruin your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds an additional layer of defense. As an alternative, you can 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 tip or move. Likewise, rising water can flood the internal elements. Ensure your outdoor unit is properly secured and raised 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 items that could become hazardous projectiles. This helps avoid denting and other physical damage during the course of 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 out and examine your unit. Check for problems108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Clear away any leaves, branches and other debris to improve airflow and efficiency.
  • Inspect for water damage: If your area sustained flooding, look for water damage. If you believe water got into the unit, it’s always better not to turn it on until you have it professionally inspected.
  • Schedule a quick repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t delay air conditioning repair, or you risk increased energy costs, a reduced life span or total system failure.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to deal with severe weather, but it’s crucial to be prepared and understand how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your HVAC system performs safely and efficiently. Our team can handle all your AC service needs in Savannah, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather affect your family's comfort—reach out to a Service Experts office near you for more information or to schedule a visit today.

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