When it comes to rainfall and humidity levels, Florida is one of the wettest in the nation. Although we love the climate here most of the time, we see our fair share of stormy weather. Of course, it’s during hot, humid weather our amazing air conditioners work their hardest to keep us cool. No matter how much you crank down your thermostat, it can be a challenge staying comfortable.
With all of our hot and wet conditions, you have to wonder about the effects the weather has on our air conditioners. Luckily, AC units are designed to handle the elements to a large degree. However, when the weather gets extreme, there surely can be some consequences for your AC system!
How Does Rain Affect Your AC System?
Here in South Florida, we get almost 60 inches of rain per year! But as you watch the rain fall from the comfort of your home, have you ever wondered if it could damage your AC unit? With heavy rainfall happening regularly (especially if a hurricane comes through) combined with the electrical components of your system, it’s not unreasonable to think something could go wrong.
The truth is our air conditioners are built to withstand even the heaviest of downpours. Cooling systems are made of aluminum, copper, metal, and various other materials that are designed to put up with the inclement weather. The electrical components are well-contained, and even if rain is pouring for days, your air conditioner is protected. Rain only becomes a factor in severely flooding scenarios, when parts of the unit are submerged under water, and all modern AC units are built to handle even the worst of storms. However, it’s always a great idea to schedule regular maintenance appointments so a technician can ensure that no part of your system has been compromised in regard to the weather or otherwise.
Can Humidity Damage Your AC Unit?
Unlike excessive rainfall, humidity may actually affect your air conditioner. It doesn’t directly damage the system, but it sure does make it work harder for your indoor comfort needs. Beyond simply cooling down your home, air conditioners are built to eliminate indoor humidity as well. In low humidity, an air conditioner only needs to cool the warm air, but in high humidity, it must cool the air and remove the moisture. While the cooling process is slowed, your AC unit is forced to do its best to keep up. High humidity can lead to:
- Higher energy bills
- A decrease in energy-efficiency
- More wear and tear on your cooling system
- A shorter lifespan for your unit
- Increased need for repairs
- More frequent system replacements
As you can see, humid weather is not only tough on your comfort, it’s tough of your air conditioner, and your energy bills too! However, a great thing about our AC units is that most of them are now built with dehumidifiers. These are a fantastic solution when you are dealing with incredibly high humidity levels. While some people like some humidity, most of us want to get rid of all of it. Depending on how severe your indoor humidity problem is, there are many options of products to best suit your needs. Commonly you’ll find two different types of dehumidifiers: whole-home and portable. The one you select depends on whether or not you wish to target specific areas or rooms. If your family members each have their own preferences for humidity levels, portable dehumidifiers may be the best choice.
Mold and Algae
Another danger associated with high humidity levels involves the growth of mold and algae. As condensation builds inside our air conditioners, the excess water flows from the drain pan to the condensation drain and then out to the main water line. With high amounts of humidity and moisture, these drains clog easily, leading to stagnant water inside your unit. As the moisture builds up, mold and algae start to grow and prosper. Over time, these growths can make the clog worse, increasing the chances of flood damage, or creep into electrical components and cause damage there. If you notice strange smells or pools of water near your system, we recommend calling us immediately.
East Coast Mechanical: Your Local Air Conditioning Experts
As extreme storms continue to pummel South Florida year after year, it’s important to keep in mind what these storms can do to our air conditioners. Although they’ll stay protected from the rain, always have your air conditioner maintained to keep wear and tear in check. If your AC unit gets flooded, be sure to have it inspected by a professional immediately.
If you have more questions about how weather affects your air conditioner, or any other home comfort problem, give East Coast Mechanical a call today. We proudly serve Boynton Beach, Florida and surrounding areas with unbeatable cooling services. From providing quality dehumidification solutions to assisting with AC repairs of all shapes and sizes, we’re here to keep you comfortable all year long.