How Heavy Rains Can Affect Your Air Conditioner

Close-up of raindrop splashing on AC unit.

Rain is a good thing, right? While it is good in limited amounts, rain can pose serious dangers if too much pours down on areas causing flooding. In some areas, hurricanes, flash floods, and storms release rainfall that can turn into a foot or more of floodwater that wreaks havoc on homes and businesses. How will heavy rains in your area affect your air conditioning (AC) unit?

AC Units Are Tough

Your AC unit is designed to withstand not only showers but also snow and hail as well. Outdoor units are designed in a way that interior components are protected from precipitation and thus performance is not negatively impacted in the event of rain or snow. Electrical components are sealed and connections are made impervious to moisture. The compressor and condenser in the outdoor unit are comprised of aluminum, copper, and other metals, and are made to handle heavy rains while still effectively cooling and dehumidifying your home. Unfortunately, though, heavy rains can lead to other problems:

Storm Damage

Heavy rains with high winds that carry projectiles and other debris can damage the condenser fan grille or carry leaves, twigs, dirt, and other debris inside your air conditioning system. Always give your outside unit a thorough once-over following a storm.


Deep standing water from localized flooding could harm moving parts and electronics inside your air conditioning system if flood waters exceed 15 inches in depth. If you experience this type of severe flooding following heavy rain, it is highly advisable to have your unit professionally inspected before you restart it. This is why it is imperative to install your exterior air conditioning unit in a flood-safe area. Ductwork and venting underneath pier and beam houses must also be protected against flood water to ensure safe operation and the health of your family.


Internal corrosion can occur in systems that have been improperly wrapped during the off-season. If you prefer covering your system, a commercially available cover with proper ventilation holes is essential. NEVER cover your unit with plastic wrap or garbage bags. Moisture and condensation can build up and become trapped inside the system, rotting wire and rubber, and corroding and rusting metal parts. The lack of ventilation also promotes the growth of mold and mildew and creates an attractive nesting ground for insects and vermin.

Contact Aire Serv®

From heavy rains to overbearing sun and showers, we have you covered. Schedule your residential or commercial seasonal AC maintenance by contacting Aire Serv today.

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