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Can Rain Damage Your Outdoor Unit?

July 1, 2022 | Blog

It’s reasonable to have concerns about your HVAC system during rainier seasons. Severe weather can be detrimental to your system. However, the good news is that rain is not harmful to your outdoor unit!

At Island Airco, we aim to help you understand how your system can withstand the elements. Read ahead to learn how your AC survives rainy weather and what can cause rain damage to outdoor units.

HVAC Design and Durability

Your heating and cooling system is a sturdy piece of machinery. It is made of durable materials that resist weather conditions such as wind, rain, and hail.

Your machine has constant exposure to all of the elements. The electrical system is tightly sealed, helping prevent damage from rain and storms. Its parts consist of copper and aluminum materials, which fight corrosion.

Rain and Window AC Units

Like your outdoor HVAC system, your window air conditioner is safe in the rain! It has the same corrosion-proof components as a freestanding machine.

Heavy storms can be nerve-wracking in general. Regular AC maintenance is an easy guarantee that your machine functions effectively after a storm.

Weather-Related Threats to Outdoor Units

Even heavier rains are not a threat to your outdoor unit. However, other weather-related circumstances can be harmful to your machine.


Deep-standing water is bad news for your outdoor air conditioner. Water often must reach 15 inches in depth for it to be a problem. If floodwater submerges the machinery while it is running, you could experience:

  • Permanent damage to wiring and motor
  • Electrical shocks
  • Fire hazards
  • Water seeping into your home

You should oversee your outdoor unit if you’re experiencing consistent rain in your area. Turn the machine off if water begins submerging the air conditioner and have a professional inspect it after the storm passes.

Windblown Debris

Strong winds often accompany storms. These gusts can blow debris into your unit, such as leaves or tree branches. Blockages can form in your AC, which can compromise its functionality.

Debris can also cause excessive water vapor to form in your machine. Moisture can lead to corrosion, which damages your HVAC system.

Lightning-Induced Power Surges

Lightning storms can cause power surges, which harm your electrical system. Spikes in electricity can create wear and tear within your air conditioner.

Outdoor air conditioners can become unusable if struck by lightning. Turn off your machinery during a storm to help prevent damage. Additionally, surge protection devices can help shield your electrical system from harm.

How Rain Benefits Your Outdoor Unit

The good news is that moderate rains can benefit your heating and cooling system! Rain can help unblock any buildup of vegetation in your air conditioner. Clearing debris helps lower energy consumption by allowing the system to operate effectively.

Additionally, rainwater cools the coil within the outdoor unit. This process helps with cooling efficiency, making the inside of your home more comfortable.

Eureka Springs HVAC Repairs

Are you worried about storm damage to your outdoor unit? Our professional technicians at Island Airco are here to help! Contact us today to schedule a post-storm inspection of your outdoor system.

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