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4 Ways Severe Weather Can Impact Your Air Conditioner

Learn how to minimize the risks to your air conditioner before bad weather strikes.


Thunderstorms are a part of living in the Denver area. In fact, there are an average 30+ days of thunderstorms during the months of June, July and August each year. They can be inconvenient, but they can also change how well your Denver air conditioning system keeps you cool during the hot summer months. Here’s how:

4 Ways Severe Weather Can Impact Your Air Conditioner (And How to Fix It)

Strong winds: Strong winds combined with heavy rains can wreak havoc on your outside air conditioning unit. Branches, dried leaves and paper can get lodged in the coils and fan, which can keep them from working properly. After any storm, check your unit and clear off any debris before using it.

Lightning and Power Outages: In the unlikely event that lightning strikes your home, your air conditioner can be affected by power surges that can temporarily or permanently cripple your unit. Consider working with a local electrician to install a whole home surge protector to keep all your electronics safe especially if you live in a more lightning-prone area.

It’s also good to be prepared if severe weather brings down trees on power lines or your power grid goes out. Think about installing a generator to keep your system up and running in any weather.

Flooding: High waters like those that hit the Denver area in 2013 and 2015 show how surprisingly vulnerable our homes are when it comes to too much rain. Luckily most air conditioners are located on higher ground to prevent submersion of the unit. If you’re unlucky enough to have a unit that is under water semi-regularly, contact a repairman as soon as possible. Don’t risk electrocution by trying to fix the problem yourself.

Humidity and Moisture: Your outside air conditioning unit is going to get wet. And they’re set up to deal with a limited amount of water, like what we get in a spring rainstorm or when it’s humid outside. On these days, the worst thing you can do is to cover your unit with a tarp or other cover that doesn’t provide it with proper ventilation.

Moisture can get trapped inside the unit, causing wires to rot and metal parts to rust. It can also create the perfect home for small animals and lizards that can damage your wiring. Invest in a custom-designed cover if you have to put something over your AC unit—preferably one recommended by the manufacturer with holes strategically placed for ventilation.

Humidity can also impact the energy efficiency of your air conditioning unit. Air conditioners remove moisture from your home and push it back outside. If your home is overly humid—because it’s humid outside—your AC will have to run more often and burn more energy to make your home feel cooler.

Consider replacing an older air conditioner with the most energy-efficient HVAC unit you can afford in your home. The energy and money you save the rest of the year should offset the additional costs of running your air conditioner when its rainy and humid outside.

Be prepared for whatever weather we get in the Denver area by learning more about your air conditioner. Some heating and air conditioning companies offers free, guaranteed estimates on new Air Conditioners to help you evaluate your current system and make recommendations on how to stay safe and cool during the hot summer months.

Contact a Denver HVAC business in your area to schedule an appointment today.

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