Is My Air Conditioner Performance Affected By Rain?

Of all the things that affect air conditioner performance, rain is a natural phenomenon that actually improves it. Except in extreme conditions, rain falling on the outdoor condenser helps clean it and cool off the hot refrigerant the system sends through the condenser’s coil. Manufacturers design central air conditioners to withstand all but the most extreme weather events.

How the A/C Works

The outdoor condenser contains the condensing coil, a large fan and the compressor. The compressor puts the refrigerant under pressure and sends it into the evaporator coil inside the air handler, where the refrigerant extracts the heat from your home’s air. The refrigerant then travels back to the condenser and flows through the condensing coil. The fan pulls air over and through the coil, which helps dissipate all the heat the refrigerant collected. The refrigerant returns to the compressor, and the process continues until your home reaches the thermostat’s setting.

How Rain Actually Helps A/C Performance

When it rains, it cools the coil and washes away the dust that collects on it. A clean coil loses heat faster, which improves air conditioner performance. If it doesn’t rain often during the cooling season, it’s helpful to gently hose off the condensing coil and remove any vegetation that obstructs the condenser. It requires adequate airflow through the coil to work most efficiently. In fact, cleaning the coil needs to be done periodically and included in annual maintenance performed by an HVAC professional.

Too Much Rain

While rain is good for your outdoor condenser, too much can be a problem. A heavy rain can submerge part of the condenser, which might harm your system. Other problems associated with stormy weather include lightening strikes and power outages. If severe weather is forecast, it’s a good idea to turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat and the circuit breaker to minimize damage lightening strikes or power surges can cause.

Besides relying on rain to enhance air conditioner performance, the pros at Conroe Air can help you get the most from this essential appliance through service and maintenance. We proudly provide HVAC services for homeowners in Montgomery County, the Woodlands and the surrounding areas.