How Does Rain Affect My Air Conditioning Unit?

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  • October 16, 2014

How Does Rain Affect My Air Conditioning Unit?Your A/C consists in part of a large, vented metal box that sits outdoors and is filled with all sorts of complex electrical equipment. That being the case, you may sometimes find yourself wondering, “Does rain affect my air conditioning unit?” It’s not an unreasonable question, considering the various other factors that can have an impact on your HVAC use. However, for all intents and purposes, the answer is no. Rain has no significant impact on how your air conditioner operates.

Outdoor Elements and Your A/C

Since the unit is designed to be outside, it has to be built to withstand the elements — light rain, heavy rain, and more — and still operate efficiently. In fact, you’ll do more harm to your system if you try to cover it with a waterproof tarp during inclement weather, as it it restricts air circulation, which keeps the components from drying.

“But,” you counter, “Does rain affect my air conditioning unit when it’s actually in use? It being electrical, wouldn’t the water cause problems?” Again, no. Not only is your A/C safe to use in the rain, it can actually be beneficial. Rain increases the humidity, which in the Houston area is often already dangerously high. Your A/C system, however, dehumidifies your home. And the drier air will not only make your house more comfortable, but also reduce the mold, mildew, bacteria, and other contaminants that are fostered in overly humid conditions.

The Exception to the Rule

There is one exception when it comes to rain and your A/C. If the area is completely flooded, then it will cause problems. Rain beating down on the unit is not a problem, but if it becomes submerged, it’s finished. If you know a flood is coming, turn off both the unit and the circuit breaker to prevent shocks, and cover the unit to keep out both water and debris. However, short of a flood, your outdoor A/C unit is built to be strong and resilient, and can be used whenever you have need of it, no matter the weather.

For more advice on operating your air conditioning unit in all types of weather, contact our experts at ACS Absolute Comfort today.

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