How Strong Wind Gusts During A Storm Might Harm Your AC Condenser
Since your air conditioner is outside, it has to tolerate hot temperatures, humidity, and storms. Storms can cause severe damage to an air conditioning unit. Lightning can fry the electrical wiring, and heavy rain might flood the condenser and ruin electronic components. Wind can also do a surprising amount of damage to the AC. Here are some ways strong winds can harm your air conditioner and repairs the AC might need after a storm.
Blow Debris Into The Fins
A strong steady wind stirs up dust, leaves, and all kinds of trash and debris that's on the ground. If the wind blows it toward your AC condenser, the debris can end up wedged between the fins. You'll probably notice this right away, and if you do, it's a good idea to leave the AC off until the fins can be cleaned and checked.
Debris blowing against the fins can bend the fins so they block airflow around the condenser coils. If you do some AC maintenance yourself, you may know how to clean and straighten fins. If you don't, call an AC repair service to get the fins back to normal and check for other damage to the AC.
Damage A Refrigerant Line
Strong winds can also cause damage to a refrigerant line. These small copper lines run from the condenser to the air handler indoors. If the wind blows debris against the line or causes the condenser to shift and pull on one of the copper lines, the line could break or develop a leak.
If the copper refrigerant lines look like they've been shifted or struck by an object, it's a good idea to have an AC repair service check the pressure in the lines to make sure they aren't leaking. If refrigerant is leaking out, your AC will be affected. Your air conditioner may not be able to make cool air or it might shut down completely.
Blow The Condenser Over
A strong wind gust might topple the condenser over or blow it across the pad. Even if the condenser doesn't look damaged, you'll want a repair professional to check it and reposition it before you try to turn the AC back on. In addition to checking the refrigerant, the technician will probably want to check the electrical connections to make sure nothing was pulled loose. Also, the technician needs to verify no internal parts were broken when the condenser moved.
The type of storm damage that's possible varies quite a bit. The AC repair service may only need to check your unit and make mild repairs or just clean the fins. However, if the damage is bad enough, the technician might need to replace parts, repair wiring, or even put in a new condenser. Damage isn't always obvious, so it's a good idea to have your unit checked just to make sure it's safe and so it will operate properly once you turn the AC back on.
Contact a local AC repair service to learn more.