August 17, 2021
AC Storm Damage in Shawnee, KS

Storms are a common part of life around Shawnee, and so is storm-related damage. Unfortunately, this damage sometimes includes your air conditioner. Here are some telltale signs a storm has damaged your air conditioning unit.

Physical Damage to the Condensing Unit

After the storm has passed, go outside and look for any physical damage to your condensing unit. This is the square or rectangular unit outside that most people associate with their air conditioner.

There are several aspects of damage you want to look for that will affect the function of the unit. First, check for any obvious damage to the unit’s housing. Any major dents or cracks to the housing indicate likely damage to internal components.

Next, look for any debris protruding from the unit, both the sides of the unit and the top. Like dents or cracks, protruding debris has likely also damaged interior components.

Finally, you’ll want to look a little more closely at the front and side of the unit. There are fins on the coils that flying debris easily damages. You’ll want to get a flashlight and look for dented fins that may restrict airflow.

It Won’t Power Up

Another very likely symptom of significant storm damage is the condensing unit simply failing to start. This can be caused by damage to the compressor, a refrigerant leak, or damage to the contractor or capacitor.

It may also fail to power up when there’s damage to the unit’s power supply. There is usually a power supply box or breaker on the house near your condensing unit. The damage may occur to the box itself or the lines leading to the unit.

New Loud Noises

Many noises indicate a problem within the air conditioning system, and new ones can occur after a storm. A rattling indicates something has come loose, such as the fan blades or the fan cage over the top of the unit. It may also indicate something internal within the compressor has broken.

Another sound you might hear includes a hissing sound, which may indicate a refrigerant leak. There may also be a buzzing or humming sound, which means there is an electrical problem of some kind. The common culprit for buzzing is a malfunctioning compressor or capacitor.

Pooled Water Around the Condensing Unit

Your air conditioning will create some condensation as it runs. However, your condensing unit is not designed to be submerged. If the storm created flooding around your condensing unit, even if it was only around the base, there is a strong likelihood it was damaged.

If your unit had standing water around the base, turn the electricity off at the breaker. This will prevent any further damage from occurring due to continued electric current. Next, call a professional technician to inspect the unit and test the internal components to ensure they are still working.

Burning Smell

Your system should never smell like it’s burning. The most common smell will be something electrical and could smell like melting plastic or sulfur. If you smell this, turn off the power to the unit and call for a technician.

Storm-related electrical damage is often caused by a power surge. It may have damaged the condensing fan motor, the compressor, or the wiring in the unit. Surges can also cause damage to the capacitor or contactor. A technician will easily trace down the problem and fix it to get your home cool again.

Warmer and More Humid Air

After the storm, you may notice your system is producing warmer air more humid air. This may even happen several days or weeks after your system sustained damage from a storm.

This may mean your system has a small refrigerant leak, usually caused by some damage to the condensing coil. If you do have a leak, you may also notice your system freezing up. Shut it down and allow a technician to find the leak to prevent more extensive damage to your compressor.

Tripping Circuit Breaker

Once you start your system back up, you may have a problem with it tripping the circuit breaker. This simply means this system is drawing more power than it should. The most common culprit is a malfunctioning compressor, which may be damaged during a storm.

People around Shawnee have turned to Air Care Heating & Cooling for reliable air conditioning services since 1981. Our certified technicians provide expert heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair. Call to schedule your service with one of the area’s most trusted names in air conditioning today.

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