Air conditioners are built with the rugged outdoors in mind, but they can still sustain damage during severe weather. The high winds and heavy rains generated by thunderstorms can take a toll on your AC and throw your entire cooling system into disarray. After a storm rolls through Greenwood, IN, it’s important to stay vigilant and keep an eye out for signs of AC damage. Knowing what to look for will give you a chance to act quickly. The faster you respond to a damaged AC, the sooner you can restore your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. Take a look at these eight signs to see if your AC was damaged by a storm.
1. Unit Won’t Turn On
If your AC goes down during a storm and doesn’t come back on, that’s a sure sign that something happened. It’s possible the culprit is a tripped fuse or power outage. In these cases, the AC should come back on after power is restored. However, if power restores and the unit is still down, it was probably damaged in a way that requires repairs.
If you’re unsure of whether your AC is down, you can do a quick test by turning the thermostat down a few degrees. You should hear the AC kick on within a minute or two of lowering the temperature. If nothing happens, then the AC is unable to turn on.
2. Output Is Low
In some cases, your air conditioner may be able to turn on, but its performance will be worse than before. Low air pressure is one major sign of reduced performance. When you place your hand over the vent, you should feel a decent flow of air coming out. If you instead feel a weak flow, or worse, no flow at all, then your AC is struggling to circulate air throughout your home. It could be that the fan motor was damaged or the fan itself was severely bent out of shape.
3. Reduced Cooling Performance
Reduced airflow isn’t the only sign that your AC’s performance is suffering. You might also notice the unit is struggling to produce cool air. If you feel warm or hot air flowing from your vents while the AC is running, you may have a refrigerant leak on your hands. Refrigerant is a liquid that your AC uses to cool down the air it draws from the outdoors. A refrigerant leak occurs if the pipes used to circulate refrigerant are damaged. Although a refrigerant leak can start slow, it will always worsen over time and should be addressed by a professional right away.
4. Burning Electrical Smell
Your air conditioner should never smell like it’s burning. If you notice a smokey or acrid smell near your AC, you should call a technician right away. A burning smell indicates something is wrong with the electrical system. For example, wires may have been frayed or damaged by bad weather. This situation is not only hazardous to your house, but also to your safety. Turn off power to the AC at the breaker box and wait for a professional to arrive.
5. Alarming Noises
Screeching, buzzing, rattling, and groaning are concerning sounds for an AC to make. Under normal circumstances, you should be able to hear your AC while it’s running, but at a much lower and steadier level. Unusual sounds indicate that a piece of debris may have worked its way into the condenser cabinet. To check for debris, turn the AC off so the fan stops running. Peer down into the unit past the fan and look for anything unusual. Sticks, stones, and dead leaves are all common culprits.
If you spot an obstruction, you can try to remove it yourself. To do this, you’ll have to unscrew the fan and lift it out of the condenser cabinet. Simply reach down and remove the detritus, then replace the fan. Not all homeowners are comfortable doing this, and that’s okay. Our technicians would be happy to step in and do the dirty work!
6. Water Pooling Around Unit
An air conditioner can only function properly if it’s well-ventilated and dry. Any water puddling around the unit is a major problem. There are a few weather-related problems that can cause your AC to flood. One of them is a broken refrigerant line we discussed earlier. However, your landscape may also form a natural basin that collects water during heavy showers. If this is the case, you’ll need to speak with a landscaper about how you can improve the drainage around the unit.
7. Damage From Power Surge
A common side effect of severe weather is a loss of power. In the event of a power surge, your air conditioner’s electrical system might get fried. Damaged compressors, burnt-out capacitors, and blown fuses are all cooling problems that are caused by a power surge. In the event of a power surge damaging your AC, you will probably first notice that the AC is non-functional. You may also notice a foul, burnt smell or tendrils of smoke coming from the unit. Electrical issues are always an emergency situation because they can lead to electrical fires and electrocution. Turn your AC off at the breaker and call a technician right away.
8. Debris Lodged in the Unit
This one is apparent with a quick visual inspection of the unit. As debris flies around during a storm, it may end up on or inside the outdoor unit. Large pieces of debris, like falling branches, are a common source of damage, but even small particulates can be enough to cause problems. If the outer coils get coated in dust or mud, the ventilation will be greatly reduced. This can cause the system to overheat and work much harder than normal to keep your home cool. Eventually, components will burn out. If you notice the unit’s outer fins are dirty following a storm, use a garden hose to gently rinse them clean. This should knock off the debris and restore airflow.
Your AC Service Pros in Greenwood
If your air conditioner was damaged by a storm, you can count on the team from Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing to restore it. Whether the problem is a blown motor, leaky refrigerant, or full system failure, we have the right solution at the right time. Our NATE-certified technicians have been servicing air conditioners throughout Greenwood for more than 17 years. We arrive at every job with a fully stocked truck and state-of-the-art equipment. We’ll work hard to diagnose the issue and let you know the best solution for your needs and budget. That’s what makes Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing the go-to source for AC repairs in Greenwood!
Our team is thrilled to offer the full range of cooling and heating services, including replacement, maintenance, and installation. In fact, routine maintenance can help your AC withstand damage caused by inclement weather. We also provide plumbing services like repairs and water heater service.
Was your home recently hit by a storm? Call Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing to schedule service!