Although the first window air conditioner unit was produced almost a century ago; the window unit is still a design of choice in many homes and establishments across the globe.
While some are favorably disposed to the idea due to the window AC’s durability and efficiency, there are those who prefer it for its affordability.
Whatever the case, a window unit is a simple one that has its components assembled all together in a single box. The double shaft motor has fans mounted on both sides.
The design of a window AC unit is such that it is mounted on a window or a wall, leaving the cooling vent facing the interior of the room and the rest of the unit hanging outdoor.
This is intentional for disposing heat and condensed water outside. However, this also leaves the back of the AC exposed to the elements.
You may have wondered at some point whether rainfall or any other harsh weather will damage a window air conditioner. You’re not alone and that is why we’ve put this post together.
Will rain damage a window air conditioner?
The simple answer is No. Rain, by itself (no matter how heavy), will not damage your air conditioner.
Manufacturers of window air conditioners and split units understand the dangers of exposure and have designed the outdoor portion of the unit in such a way that it cannot be affected negatively by rainfall.
The electrical components of the AC which may also become exposed are properly sealed and are impervious to rainfall.
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Notwithstanding, there are situations that accompany rainfall (or caused by rainfall) that may pose some threat to the performance of your AC.
This is more likely to happen with AC units installed really close to the ground.
A few inches of rainfall will do no damage, but with increased rainfall and severe flooding, you may actually have large amounts of water settling in parts, corners and on components within your unit.
This should be a source of concern and you should call the maintenance contractor to have a look when this happens.
Window AC components and the outdoor unit of a split AC are mostly made of metal which is prone to corrosion when exposed to continuous moisture.
While rainfall may not cause this because it dries out easily with ventilation, some users may ignorantly make things worse by covering the back of the AC with non-ventilated plastics which can trap heat and cause condensation.
This results in the corrosion of metal parts and damage to wiring as well.
Storms can become detrimental to your AC unit, especially if it comes with heavy winds that carry objects.
Tree branches and other items may fall forcefully on your unit and may cause some damage if not properly taken care of.
4. Wind-carrying debris
Debris like dust, twigs and leaves may go into your unit and cause damage to the condenser fan grille and also affect other components inside the unit.
Be sure to carry out a comprehensive inspection after the storm to see what has been damaged, what needs repair and what needs to be replaced.
Hence, rain, by itself, cannot damage your window air conditioner except it leads to the conditions described above, including heavy storm, flooding, corrosion and heavy winds that cause the movement of debris.
Otherwise, the window AC has been properly built to withstand the impact of heavy rainfall.
You certainly have to ensure that the unit is properly sealed on the wall or window to prevent water from finding its way through and causing some damage. This is a necessary precaution.
Suggested Precautionary Measures for a Window air conditioner during Rain
While a simple rainfall will do no damage to your window air conditioner unit, it is always best to make sure and take the necessary steps to keep your unit protected. There are a few things you can do to prolong the life of your Window AC.
1. Check for leaks
The space between your AC unit and the wall or window frame must be properly sealed to prevent water from seeping in and wreaking havoc.
Be sure to use the proper sealing items like the Duck Brand Window Air Conditioner Insulating Strip to keep moisture out.
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2. Watch out for lightning strikes
This can happen during heavy storms. Like any other electrical appliance, your AC is vulnerable to lightning strikes. It is best to turn it off and unplug it from the source to protect it.
3. Watch out for fluctuating compressor
Heavy storms can also affect the power in your area causing the voltage to go on and off at intervals.
This can affect your compressor if you leave your unit running. You should turn it off when this happens until the power becomes stable again.
4. Use a cover/build a roof
Hail falling on your AC unit may also pose a huge threat, as much as water dripping from the top.
Using a rain drip cushion can prevent such but you may also decide to simply construct a small roof over the unit to protect it against unforeseen situations.
Should you turn off the window air conditioner during a storm?
We will say this categorically: You should turn off your AC during a storm. In fact, as soon as you see the signs of an impending storm, unplug it.
Why risk it at all and wait for things to get really bad before you turn it off? It may just be too late.
The good thing is, rainfall and storms come with some cooling effects. Temperature and humidity are likely to drop so you may not even need your air conditioner at that time.
Important tips to leave the window air conditioner on all-weather safely
If you really want to know, we’ll advise you to let your air conditioner work only when there are people in the house who need air conditioning.
Otherwise, turn it off when you leave the house. However, there are two contrasting theories to this argument.
There are those who believe turning off your AC at intervals will not only make it more efficient but will also save some energy.
Some others believe leaving it on at a steady temperature all day is actually more cost-effective than having to turn it back on at night when the house is warmer and very humid- causing the AC to expend a lot of energy trying to cool the room.
They argue that this can use up more energy than leaving it on all day. So, if you must leave your AC on all day, here are a few tips;
- Use a timer, just in case you do not get home when you thought you would.
- Maintain an average cooling temperature, preferably between 20 degrees and 26 degrees Celsius.
- Take measures to prevent power surge. Use surge protectors or voltage regulators to keep the power supply to the unit stable all day.
- Ensure there are no leaks that may cause your unit to overwork.
Top 3 Durable Window Air Conditioners for All Weather
1. TOSOT 10,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner [Best Features]
Of all its many amazing features and qualities, nothing quite beats its durability and strength.
It is as strong in operation as it is in resilience, keeping your unit safe from rainfall-induced damage.
This is enhanced by the absence of vents at the top of the outdoor condensing portion of the unit.
This helps to limit the possibility of water finding its way in. Also, the unit is properly sealed. However, it has properly placed components that will not give in to the water with vents on the side for proper ventilation and drying. It is affordable and has a temperature-sensing remote for auto-setting.
2. Amana AMAP121BW 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner [Value for Money]
With a coverage capacity of 550 sq feet, 12,000 BTU and 115 voltage, this window air conditioner is a truly efficient appliance.
One reason for its durability in the face of rainfall is the multiple vents that allow for ventilation and cause rainwater to dry up in good time.
The vents on the sides are also designed in such a way that allows water to flow down. It also has 3 cooling speeds for enhanced flexibility.
There’s a remote control and an electronic display for better manipulation and operation.
3. GE 6,000 BTU Electronic Window Air Conditioner [Best Price]
Although suitable for small to medium rooms up to 250 sq feet, this window air conditioner unit is a product that has gained a reputation for its performance and durability.
It is properly sealed and designed in such a way that does not allow rain into sensitive parts.
Despite its conservative BTU, it runs on 115 Voltage. What’s more, this GE unit has an easy-to-operate and very easy to install.
So, rainfall is as harmless as come until it comes with the storm and lightning strikes. Heavy winds may also cause some destruction to your AC components.
While you can take preventive measures like turning off your AC or adding some protective gear, it will do you a lot of good to opt for durable window air conditioners that can put up some resistance against damage caused by rainfall.
With the three reviewed above, you’re sure to get good value for your money.