How Does Rain Affect My Air Conditioning Unit?


If you have a central A/C, it most likely has an outdoor unit. But is it really safe there? The weather on the Gulf Coast can get pretty rough, and the unit is full of electrical components and sensitive equipment, all just sitting out in the elements. So you can’t help but wonder, “Does rain affect my air conditioning unit?”

Well, you can put your mind at ease. For the most part, no, it doesn’t. It stands to reason that an outdoor unit would be designed to withstand a bit of inclement weather, but in fact, your home’s A/C will even be fine in heavy rain.

Should You Keep  Your A/C Under Cover?

Some people worry about the unit and cover it with a waterproof tarp when the drops start flowing. But this does more harm than good. The system’s internal workings are able to stay dry thanks to the air that circulates through the system. Covering the unit stops that air from circulating, which in turn will make the parts rust more quickly.

What About the Electrical Components?

Maybe you’re still a bit wary. True, the components may be able to avoid rusting, but there’s still an electrical current in play here. Surely that’s dangerous. “Does rain affect my air conditioning unit while it’s running?” you ask with concern.

Relax. Not only is it perfectly safe to run the A/C in the rain, but it’s actually beneficial, especially in Florida. Rain means higher humidity, which can foster mold, mildew, bacteria, and a host of other contaminants. Running the air conditioner dehumidifies the air, keeping you healthier and more comfortable.

When You Should Worry

Is your unit able to withstand hurricane season? Well… not quite. If there’s actual flooding going on, it can still cause problems. If the outdoor component of the air conditioner becomes submerged, it’s done for. If there’s a hurricane or other flooding danger on the horizon, turn the system off, along with the circuit breaker, then cover it with a specifically designed A/C cover, recommended by the manufacturer for use with your particular unit.

To learn more about how rain and other issues affect your HVAC system, contact our experts at Gulf Coast Air Systems.

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