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Thunderstorms and heavy rains aren’t uncommon in central Texas during late spring and early summer, and you may not have given much thought to whether bad weather could impact your AC system.  Could severe weather really damage your air conditioner?  The short answer is yes.  Our Austin HVAC professionals will explain how this could happen.

During a thunderstorm high winds, lightning and other factors often cause power surges.  Electronics and power surges don’t mix well, and your air conditioning system is an electronic since it uses electricity to function.  How can you protect your AC when strong thunderstorms or severe weather rolls in?  Simply switch the thermostat off and turn off the circuit breaker.  You might feel a little stuffy or uncomfortable for a short time, but it’s worth the sacrifice given the value of your AC system!

What about heavy rains and flooding?  While you don’t have to worry too much about flooding unless your outdoor unit sits in a low spot, these units are designed to weather (pun intended) rain, snow, sleet and other punishment Mother Nature may dish out.  Some people worry about water sitting on top of the outdoor unit and make the decision to cover it with a tarp or other material.  This is not necessary and could potentially result in damage should you forget to take it off before using your AC again.

If your outdoor unit does tend to flood, you might want to consider placing in on an elevated platform to prevent future flooding.  If it does become partially submerged during heavy downpours, protect it from possible damage and electrical issues by shutting the power to the unit off.

Other than severe weather summer months in Austin often bring about intense heat, which can be a problem in terms of wear and tear on your cooling system.  The hotter and more intense the sun, the more your system will run to keep your home cool.  One solution to this is to set the thermostat up to 78 degrees or so if you can bear it.  Many people are completely comfortable at this level, and 78 or 80 degrees certainly feels pleasant when it’s 98 degrees outdoors and feels like 108 degrees!

Keep these tips in mind to protect your AC from all types of weather this summer.  If you need assistance, repairs, or are wondering whether it’s time to have a new system installed, give our Austin cooling experts a call.