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Can Rain Damage Your Outdoor Unit?

June 2, 2022 | Blog

Homeowners often wonder if frequent rainfall can damage their outdoor AC unit. Thankfully, air conditioning systems are built to withstand most weather patterns, rain included. However, other weather-related components may be harmful to your HVAC system.

The Channel Heating and Cooling team keeps the concept of rain damage to outdoor units in mind. Heavy rainfall should not affect an outdoor unit alone, but we have compiled a guide to protecting your system from the added factors of frequent rains!

Rain and Your Outdoor AC Unit

The hardware on outdoor AC systems protects its electrical and mechanical components from water damage. Certain metals and other materials prevent corrosion from occurring inside a unit.

Rain can also help the removal of dirt and twigs from the inside of your outdoor system. However, air conditioners should still acquire professional cleaning to ensure they function correctly.

Severe Weather Precautions

Although outdoor air conditioning units are relatively weather-friendly, extreme conditions can still harm the unit’s overall operation.

Strong Winds During Storms

Heavy rain during storms is not usually a threat to an outdoor unit, but strong winds can occasionally cause damage. Wind can deposit debris inside the unit. It can also cause tree branches to fall, running the risk of some landing on the system.

The interior and exterior of the unit should be examined for damages following any storm, especially those with heavier winds.


An excess of standing flood water can be detrimental to your outdoor system. If water from floods exceeds more than 15 inches in depth, it is best to contact a professional to inspect the unit before turning it back on.

HVAC units cannot safely operate while submerged in water. So, failure to turn off an outdoor system during a flood could result in:

  • Risk of electrical shock
  • Fire hazards
  • Water seeping into home
  • Costly damage to Unit

Outdoor units can be elevated off the ground using a durable platform, possibly preventing standing water from submerging the system.


Similar to floods, it is best to turn off your AC system during periods when it is lightning. Lightning can cause power surges if it strikes your home, possibly damaging your outdoor unit.

Outdoor systems can become unusable if hit by lightning, thus requiring HVAC repair or replacement. Turning your AC unit off during lightning storms can help prevent hefty damages from occurring.

Internal Corrosion From Moisture

Internal components of the air conditioner unit are susceptible to corrosion if overly exposed to moisture. During Winter, snow and humidity can seep through openings in the AC unit, potentially damaging the internal metals.

Coverings that allow ventilation can help prevent corrosion from occurring. Do not cover the unit with plastic bags, as that can trap moisture in the system and cause mold or mildew to grow.

If corrosion does occur within your outdoor unit, it is best to call a technician for repairs before the issue worsens.

Contact Us!

The weather can occasionally cause problems for outdoor units. Our technicians at Channell Heating & Cooling are here to help with any HVAC repairs you may need following poor weather! Contact us today for any questions or concerns with your air conditioning system.

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Brad and Levi installed my new unit. They were both professional and respectful. Brad is a very good person. He has an amazing testimony. I enjoyed talking to him and his work ethics. Brad and Levi did a great job. It feels good to have air again. Thank you for your service.

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They installed our old system and took care if all maintenance since 1995. This year it finally needed replacing. They installed a quality Trane system and it’s been running efficiently ever since. Very thankful for their service.

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Definitely recommend Channell Heating and Cooling. Their staff is honest and friendly (even when my dog nips their ankles). Always available when I call, even on weekends and holidays. Been using them for home and work for many years. Great company.

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