2 Ways A Severe Winter Storm Can Damage Your Home's Outdoor Central AC Unit

During a severe winter storm, you may make preparations to ensure that minimal damage is done to your home. However, during these preparations, you may not think about the central air conditioning unit sitting outside.

Especially if you forgot to cover the condenser on top of the unit, the freezing temperatures, snow, and ice could cause damage to it. Below are a couple of ways that a severe winter storm can damage your home's outdoor central AC unit.

1. Expansion of Water on the Condenser As It Freezes Can Create Enough Pressure to Bend the Coils

One way that a winter storm can damage your central AC unit's condenser occurs when the temperatures drop rapidly before the storm hits. If there is any moisture inside the condenser, it will freeze quickly, causing the water to expand as it turns to ice.

When there is enough water expanding, the pressure created as the ice forms can bend the condenser coils. You can check the condition of the coils by looking through the fins on top of the unit.

If damage has been done, you will be able to easily see the bends. If so, you will need to have them fixed before you turn on the air conditioner in your home when the weather warms up.

2. Debris Carried through the Fins by Wind and Melting Snow Can Keep the Condenser Coils from Drying Out

Another problem that severe wintry weather can create for your air conditioner's condenser coils is that it often deposits debris inside the unit. As the winds blow during the storm and snow melts afterward, dirt, leaves, and small twigs are often carried in through the uncovered fins.

If this debris settles in around the coils, it will keep them from drying out. Because the coils are made from thin metal, they will easily rust if left wet for too long. If the coils' surfaces are corroded, the air conditioner will not work, making it necessary for you to have them repaired.

If you forgot to cover your home air conditioner's outdoor unit, a winter storm could cause damage to it. As water freezes on the condenser, the rapid expansion as it turns to ice could bend the coils. Also, if debris is carried in through the fins and settles around the condenser coils, it can keep them from drying out completely, which will make them rust. If you notice any damage to the condenser coils, wait until it warms up a little bit after the storm passes, and contact an HVAC contractor who offers AC repair services to schedule a time for them to inspect and fix the damage.