How Severe Weather Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

When summer hits its peak, your air conditioner may work double-time to keep your Canada home cool and comfortable. While many summer days are warm and beautiful, most people are no stranger to severe weather. Stormy conditions, and even days with high heat and humidity, can impact your air conditioner’s performance, efficiency and longevity. Explore the many ways weather can have an impact on your air conditioning and how to protect it.

Impact of Weather on Your Air Conditioner


A variety of weather conditions affect how well your air conditioning unit works. On very hot days, the AC must work harder to attain and hold the set temperature. The additional workload might lead to an overloaded system, causing a breakdown.

Excessive humidity also presents a potentially tricky situation. Although air conditioners are made26 to dehumidify the air as they cool it, excessive humidity can put stress on the system. This might result in decreased performance and a home that isn't as comfortable.


Heat waves force your air conditioner to run continuously, leading to a spike in energy bills. If a home’s HVAC system is not designed or put in in the correct way, it may be unable to meet the cooling demand under these conditions.

In contrast, the condensing unit is in jeopardy if it functions in subfreezing conditions. Attempting to run the AC when the outdoor unit is covered in ice could damage the compressor, reducing efficiency and possibly causing a total breakdown of your cooling system.

Weather-Induced Damage

Heavy rain, wind, hail or snow can damage a home's outdoor AC unit. Debris from storms can block airflow, decrease system efficiency or damage the metal. If water floods the system, corrosion or short-circuiting might occur, shortening the lifetime of your system.

The outdoor AC unit is sensitive to dangerous weather, but you can take steps to protect it. Here’s how to shield your air conditioner from harsh incoming weather:

  • Install your air conditioner in the shade: A shaded outdoor unit doesn’t have to operate as intensely, increasing efficiency and extending the unit’s life span. If possible, put 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 cooler months or when severe weather is expected, consider covering your air conditioner to protect it from flying debris, falling ice and deep 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: Routine maintenance is a simple and easy measure to enhance your AC unit’s overall health. After all, an efficient air conditioner is less likely to fail under the stress of elevated temperatures or humidity. Regular cleaning, filter replacement and detailed inspections ensure your system continues to be in top-notch condition and is ready to keep you cool and comfortable in any weather.
  • Install a surge protector: Power surges are a common result of storms that can harm your AC unit’s electrical hardware. Installing a surge protector adds another layer of defense. Alternatively, you can easily switch off your air conditioning during severe weather by flipping the circuit breaker.
  • Secure and elevate your outdoor unit: Gusty winds can cause the outdoor cooling unit to fall over or move. Similarly, rising water can cover the internal elements. Ensure your outdoor unit is properly secured and elevated on bricks or platforms designed to protect it from wind and water damage.
  • Clear your yard of debris: Always keep the space around your air conditioner clear of loose things that could become harmful projectiles. This helps protect against denting and other physical damage during the course of severe weather.

Checking on Your AC After a Storm

In the aftermath of very bad weather, follow these steps to make sure your air conditioner is able to continue to run safety:

  • Conduct a visual inspection: When the sky clears, go outdoors and examine your unit. Search for issues108 such as dents, exposed wires or an off-kilter base.
  • Clear debris: Get rid of any leaves, branches and other debris to increase airflow and efficiency.
  • Look for water damage: If your neighborhood suffered flooding, examine your HVAC equipment for water damage. If you suspect water entered the unit, it’s a very good idea not to turn it on until you have it professionally evaluated.
  • Schedule a timely repair: In the case of storm damage, don’t delay air conditioning repair, or you risk high energy costs, a reduced life span or total system disaster.

Contact Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

No one wants to feel the impact of severe weather, but it’s crucial to be prepared and recognize how to recover. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer post-storm inspections and repairs to ensure your air conditioner runs safely and efficiently. Our staff can handle all your AC service needs in Canada, 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.