How an Arizona Monsoon Can Affect Your AC

phoenix monsoon storms 2016

Monsoons Can Limit Your AC System’s Efficiency

Most of us in Phoenix AZ welcome the monsoon season with open arms. After having a couple months of brutally hot temperatures the winds and heavy rain help in cooling things down here in the desert.

With monsoon season also comes dust storms. These dust storms can wreak havoc on your home’s air conditioning efficiency. This will not only run up your monthly energy bills but also hurt the air conditioning unit itself! If your system is damaged in can lead to minor repair and even major. Either way that means spending more money.

Prevent Air Conditioning Issues

Here are the three ways monsoons can ruin your home AC’s efficiency and what you can do about them.

1. Your AC Unit has a lot of dust and debris

Dust storms don’t only make your car dirty; they cover the outside air conditioning unit as well.

That’s bad news for your air conditioner’s efficiency.

You see, your air conditioner has 2 units:

  • Inside (evaporator) unit: Absorbs heat from your air
  • Outside (condenser) unit: Disperses the heat outside

But if the outside unit is covered in dirt and dust (insulators), It can’t release heat from the refrigerant very well. That means your AC will struggle to keep you cool, and running up your energy bill as a result.

Answer: Check the outside unit after a storm. If it’s dirty, spray it off (don’t use a high pressure sprayer or you may damage the AC).

2. Clogged Drain Pan and Condensate Lines

During monsoon season, there’s plenty of moisture in the air leading to very humid days. More condensation forms on your AC’s evaporator unit and drips down into a drain pan and out the condensate drain line. (You can usually see the end of the drain line near your outside AC unit as a small PVC pipe.)

But if dust from the storms clogs the drain line, water will back up out the pan and into your home, causing water damage.

(Or, if the AC has a float switch, the AC will just shut off to prevent water from spilling over.)

Answer: If the drain line ever clogs, you might be able to unclog it yourself with a wet/dry vacuum. Otherwise you’ll have to have a professional Phoenix HVAC contractor come out and unclog it.

3. Dirty Air Filters Mean Blocked Air Flow

Usually your air conditioning system’s air filter only need changing every 1-3 months. But with all that extra dust in the air, the air filter get dirtier, faster.
And if you leave a dirty filter in the system for too long, it will block air over the evaporator coil. This decreases the AC’s efficiency and increases the chance it will break down.

Answer: Check the filter every 2 weeks during monsoon season. Change it if needed. If the air coming from supply vents is weak, chances are the filter needs changing.

Call Professional HVAC Help

While we may enjoy the storms, step back and think about how they affect your home and plan accordingly.

If you’re concerned about your air conditioner’s performance after all the storms (like, maybe your AC isn’t cooling your home evenly), contact Norris Air for an air conditioner maintenance visit.

We service Arizona homeowners in both the East Valley and West Valley. Call us today 480-832-3330 for all east valley residents. Or 602-595-3115 for all west valley residents.