Is My Central Air Conditioner Affected by Rainy Weather?

Published on: September 26, 2014
HVAC unit outside brick house | AC Southeast®

When the weather is clear and sunny, it’s easy to expect your central air conditioner to work properly to provide indoor cooling. But what happens when it rains? Some major components of the system are housed in the outside cabinet, and the outside cabinet is usually exposed to the elements. Does rain affect the performance of a central air conditioning system?

Rain and Air Conditioner Performance

In short, no, rain will not affect the performance or operation of your central air conditioner. The outdoor cabinet, which contains the compressor, is intended to be installed outdoors and is specifically designed to resist the effects of rain. Even a heavy rainstorm won’t interfere with the operation of a central air conditioner unit.

In addition to the toughness and rain resistance of the outdoor cabinet, the components contained within the cabinet are relatively sturdy. They’re also designed to operate in an outdoor environment without problems. System components that are more likely to be damaged, such as the evaporator coil, are housed in the indoor cabinet that is installed inside your home or commercial facility.

Direct rainfall won’t harm a central air conditioner, but remember that floodwaters are likely to destroy an A/C system. If the outdoor cabinet and components are submerged in a flood, they’ll be damaged so severely that the equipment will have to be replaced.

Covering Central Air Conditioners

Some A/C owners might choose to cover the outdoor cabinet to protect it. This could be a good idea if the object is to keep snow and ice from building up on the cabinet, which can interfere with airflow and cause damage. However, if you decide to cover the cabinet, use a specialized cover that will still allow plenty of airflow for the unit. Using tarpaulins, heavy plastic, or similar material could restrict airflow and damage the system.

Even when it rains, your central air conditioner will continue to continue to provide reliable indoor cooling. Contact us today for more information on what to do if you are concerned about central air conditioner performance in the rain.