When thinking about potential cooling and heating problems, rain affecting your HVAC system often doesn’t get much thought. However, it’s important to remember that fully half of your central air conditioner is located outside and exposed to the elements. Also, furnace vents extend to the outdoors, and rain can even damage HVAC ductwork in some cases. Here’s a rundown of the different ways rain can affect your HVAC system:
Pooling Water Outdoors
The outdoor condenser unit of the central air conditioner that’s likely located behind or next to the house can be flooded during heavy rain if yard drainage is not adequate or the unit is not properly installed. While the outdoor AC unit is designed to be water-resistant in typical falling rain, components may still be damaged by pooling water accumulating inside the unit if flooding occurs in the yard.
- The outdoor AC unit should always be mounted on a solid pad designed for this purpose as opposed to simply resting on the ground. The pad should elevate the unit several inches above ground level to prevent flooding in heavy rain.
- Also, the surrounding landscape should be graded so that groundwater flows away from the condenser pad instead of pooling around it.
Damaged Furnace Vent
Heavy rain entering the furnace vent that terminates on the roof can infiltrate down into the unit and cause damage. Once a year, inspect the furnace vent at the roof to make sure that the vent cap that keeps rain out of the vent pipe is still intact and that other issues, such as bird’s nests, are not present.
Roof Leakage Into Ductwork
Water from roof leaks may seep into HVAC ductwork routed through the attic. Moisture inside ducts can cause corrosion and also deteriorate sealed joints, leading to loss of cooled or heated air — and increased HVAC operating costs. Chronic moisture is also a major factor in mold contamination inside ductwork, which can be a health issue for occupants of the house.
The experts at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing are ready with professional solutions to problems like rain affecting your HVAC system.