How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer reaches its peak, your air conditioning may work double-time to keep your Winnipeg home cool and comfortable. While plenty of summer days are warm and beautiful, you may be no stranger to extreme weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with high heat and humidity, can impact your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and the length of its working life. Explore the many ways weather can influence your air conditioning and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


Various weather conditions affect how well your air conditioning unit performs. On very hot days, the AC must work harder to achieve the set temperature. The larger workload can lead to an overloaded system, causing a breakdown.

Excessive humidity also poses a potentially tricky situation. Even though air conditioners are designed to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can strain the system. This can result in diminished performance and a home that isn’t as comfortable.


Prolonged high temperatures force your air conditioner to run continuously, causing a spike in energy bills. If your AC system is not designed or set up correctly, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

Conversely, the condensing unit is in jeopardy if used in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to operate the air conditioner when the outdoor unit is covered in ice might damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly wrecking your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Significant rain, wind, hail or snow can inflict damage on your outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can obstruct airflow, reduce system efficiency or damage the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting could occur, shortening the life of your system.

Protecting Your Air Conditioner from Severe Weather

The outdoor AC unit is susceptible to dangerous weather, but you can take precautions to take care of it. Here’s how to shield your air conditioner from damaging incoming weather:

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to operate as hard, increasing efficiency and prolonging the unit’s life span. If possible, position the air conditioner on the north or east side of your home or in another place 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 predicted, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and heavy 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: Scheduled maintenance is a proactive measure to enhance your AC unit’s resilience. After all, a tuned-up air conditioner is less likely to buckle under the stress of high temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and timely inspections ensure your system continues to be in top-notch condition and is ready to face any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common consequence of storms that can harm your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds an additional level of defense. On the other hand, you can power off your AC during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Gusty winds can cause the outdoor air conditioning unit to tip or move. Similarly, rising water can cover the internal components. Be sure your outdoor unit is correctly secured and lifted up 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 harmful projectiles. This helps protect against denting and other physical damage during severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of very bad 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 outside and inspect your unit. Look for damage such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Remove any leaves, tree limbs and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
  • Look for water damage: If your area has experienced flooding, examine your HVAC equipment for water damage. If you believe water got into the unit, it’s best not to turn it on until you have it professionally evaluated.
  • Schedule a quick repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t delay air conditioning repair, or you risk high energy bills, a reduced life span or total system breakdown.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to deal with severe weather, but it’s critical to be prepared and know how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your AC operates safely and efficiently. Our staff can handle all your AC service needs in Winnipeg, including maintenance, repair and replacement. Don’t let severe weather alter 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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