Do you know how to properly take care of your air conditioner or heat pump in severe weather? Lots of things can happen to an air conditioner if it is not properly taken care of. HVAC units are built to withstand a tremendous amount of wind, rain, heat and cold, but special precautionary measures should be taken in certain instances to preserve the longevity of your outdoor units. Robinson Heating and Cooling is here to help you increase the longevity of your air conditioner and heat pump!
First, there is no need to cover up your air conditioner or heat pump when it is simply raining or snowing. Covering up your outdoor unit can actually really hurt the interior mechanisms. For example:
- Rodents can build nests inside covered air conditioners or covered heat pumps. The cover provides a nice, safe, dry, warm place for them to squirrel away into. Rodents may chew through the wires inside the outdoor unit, causing shorts in circuitry or killing the entire machine. They may die inside, causing an unpleasant smell. Rodents may also strip your Freon lines for nest-building, causing your lines to be uninsulated and vulnerable to weather.
- Lack of airflow encourages the growth of mold and other plant life. Mold and mildew growing inside your air conditioner will not negatively affect your health in any way, but it can decrease your unit’s efficiency by cutting down on airflow. Over time, this may cause damage to the unit as it tries to compensate for the efficiency loss.
- Moisture will still get in. Even if you are trying to keep all moisture out of your HVAC unit, it will still find a way in. Humidity in the air will bring moisture inside a sealed air conditioner or heat pump, evaporation from the ground can bring water up into the cover, or melting snow or rain may puddle around the base and splash up into it.
Severe weather, on the other hand, requires proper care of your air conditioner or heat pump. Severe weather happens frequently in Wisconsin, so knowing how to prepare your outdoor HVAC units can help keep your air conditioner or heat pump up and running for years to come. When severe weather, such as a blizzard or thunderstorm, is on its way, a few precautionary steps can be taken to prevent or reduce damage to your HVAC unit.
- Turn off whatever heating or cooling units you have running. A power surge can cause damage to your heating or cooling system. Unless you are caught in a blizzard and need heat, turning off your heating or cooling units can potentially prevent lots of property damage.
- If severe winds are present, cover your outdoor HVAC units. Strong winds can blow debris into your unit or cause heavy objects to fall onto it. Covering your air conditioner or heat pump can prevent or reduce damage to the outdoor unit. Be sure to remove the cover after the storm has cleared.
- Remove loose yard furniture. Loose things in your yard such as patio furniture, toys, and tools can cause damage to your home, including your outdoor HVAC units. Removing them from your yard previous to a storm may prevent hundreds of dollars in damage.