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Is It Ok For Window Type Aircon To Get Wet?


Tropical regions are always bombarded with a rainy season or a lot of rain, especially during summer vacations. This makes it harder for everyone to install electronic equipment without the fear of it malfunctioning. Unfortunately, window air conditioning units might be susceptible to damage if you’re not careful enough to secure their safety. After all, the air conditioner has many electric components, and it’s only natural to anticipate if is it ok for a window-type aircon to get wet.

There might be days when you see your neighbors wrap their AC with tarps and covers. However, this isn’t the right way to protect your air conditioning unit. Using covers, like a garbage bag, that are not recommended by the manufacturer causes internal moisture and can potentially corrode your air conditioning unit.

Luckily, your AC unit is built to withstand rainwater. The electrical components of window units are sealed and are constructed of aluminum, metal, or copper. AC units, like window types, are able to protect themselves from external moisture. In fact, factors such as debris caused by thunderstorms and flooding are usually the main cause of your AC unit malfunctioning.

But how much rain damage can my window AC unit really withstand? In this blog, you’ll find out the different sources of your window AC’s faulty mechanism and some tips to keep it safe from malfunctioning.

Does a Window Air Conditioner Require Protection from Elements?

Is It Ok For Window Type Aircon To Get Wet

Window ACs are built to withstand harsh weather conditions. It’s designed to have rust-resistant metals coated over powdered surfaces to increase its longevity. However, dust particles can accumulate inside your cooling device. In addition, the sun heats the machine’s mechanical components, if you install it directly facing the sun.

As a rule of thumb, you should set your air conditioner to an outdoor window that is under a shade and is not subjected to high winds. Another option is to install an awning over your window AC. Not only will it protect the device from little rain, but it will also prevent any potential debris, like leaves, from all on your AC unit.

A Window Unit is Designed to Withstand a Heavy Rain

The hardware and other materials on your window air conditioner are built to last, especially if you conduct proper maintenance on it. Ideally, the system will work at its best if it’s not overrun with leaves, dirt, or other debris. This can be prevented by installing an awning, or by spraying the unit with water. Make sure that once you spray, only the external casing will get wet, otherwise the indoor portion like the evaporator coil might be damaged. If you’re worried about the external electrical connections getting wet, such as the condenser coil, it’s always properly insulated against water splashes or rainy weather.

Window air conditioners are also built with Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) compressor motors which are good against unpredictable weather patterns, like rain damage. The insulator works by letting the rainwater run through the unit and out the bottom, causing no damage to the electrical components. However, make sure to place your window AC unit far from your roof’s drain hole.

How Does Rain Affect Window Air Conditioning?

Is It Ok For Window Type Aircon To Get Wet

Common sense will tell us that water damage electronic components and moving parts immensely. In fact, it’s the most common type of property damage in the world. But as explained earlier, window ACs have a high tolerance against short circuits caused by water. On a brighter note, a little water helps the unit to function more efficiently.

The window air conditioner’s efficiency is reduced when it’s clogged with leaves, dirt, or debris. Most of these accumulate on top of the condenser, reducing the cooling capacity of the unit. Rain affects the exterior part of the aircon only. It flushes out these clogs, making sure that the air can pass through the condenser. Alternatively, you can use a hose or a spray bottle to remove all the clogged debris and dirt.

What Will Damage Your Window AC Then?

Rainwater can readily enter the property if the window air conditioning unit is incorrectly fitted, causing damage to your flooring, walls, and décor. Unless the rain is too much, rainwater will not ruin the electrical wiring of the air conditioner. 

But what causes your window unit to go haywire? Here are the common reasons which contribute to your AC’s faulty behavior.

Thunderstorms and Flooding

Thunderstorms can cause different types of debris to impact the fan grill of your air conditioner’s condenser. While your AC can withstand most of the wet season or casual inclement weather, heavy rains cause immense flooding. Continuous rainy conditions make the ground soft, which contributes to falling trees, twigs, and other nearby things that can potentially damage the window air conditioner. After the water recedes, make sure to inspect your window unit after a storm, and examine if there is a risk of a short circuit, especially in the AC’s internal parts.

On the other hand, if your window air conditioner was left in deep standing water for a long period of time, contact an HVAC technician to check the status of your unit. Usually, if the rainwater is deeper than 38cm (15 inches), the electrical parts of your window unit will be damaged.

Internal Moisture and Humidity

Internal corrosion might reduce the efficiency of your air conditioners. Improper wrapping, such as garbage bags, causes this type of corrosion, so avoid using waste bags or plastic wraps. In addition, the accumulated dust and moisture will cause the iron oxide on your unit’s wires to decay. This also causes mildew and mold growth.

Special covers are usually provided by the manufacturers upon buying the unit. These will have a positive impact on the overall performance of your AC unit These covers will also prevent the unit from heating.

When opting for a good cover, make sure to choose a cloth that’s made of breathable materials or adjustable sleeves. It’s also a good idea to buy a UV-treated cover, to prevent discoloration on your window-mounted AC.

How Do You Keep Your Window Air Conditioner Functioning?

Is It Ok For Window Type Aircon To Get Wet

Without proper care and cover, your window-type AC may soon start to break. Thus, it is only imperative to conduct constant check-ups and maintenance to ensure it’s always in good shape. To help you ensure the safety of your unit, here are some useful tips which you can use!

Inspect the System

To begin, check if your window-type AC is properly positioned. When the unit comes into contact with the window, there should be no gaps between the window and the window frame. If you see any side gaps, cover them by following the step-by-step guide in the instructional module. 

Make sure that your AC system is running smoothly, especially after a storm or strong rain, to ensure it can cool down your place during hot days. Most importantly, place your window-type in a place where it won’t break down from constant flooding. In addition, check the fans of your window-type AC and see if there are bent fins or accumulated dirt. Clean and fix it thoroughly to ensure it won’t malfunction in the long run.

Window AC units must be tilted away from the building

It is important to angle your window-type AC to make sure the condensation feature won’t be damaged from excessive rainfall or from any potential risks. In addition, the side panel of your air conditioner system can be extended to fill in the window area and prevent rain from puddling the house. This will also prevent constant heating inside your room if you cover any noticeable cracks or holes in your home. 

Rain can also drip on the unit, which makes a loud thumping sound on the surface. While this may less harmful, it can affect your comfort, because it’s an added noise. Rain cushions can be used to ensure your AC system is well protected.

More Tips to Protect Your Window AC

Is It Ok For Window Type Aircon To Get Wet

Damage to your AC is a typical occurrence. Hence, it is only natural for us to think of ways to ensure its cooling capacity is up and running. While the most common assumption is that weather, such as thunderstorms, winter, hail, or even light rain can damage it, that’s not usually the case.

In any case, your window-type unit may need additional parts from the manufacturer if the problem persists. This can cause heating issues if left unattended. It is best to contact the supplier to help with what to do.

Another note on system checking is to find water stains and wet spots as evidence of a water leak in your unit, near the frame. This can assist you to figure out if the problem is with the window itself rather than your A/C system. This will also keep your room from heating, and save you money if the problem is the windowpane.

Moreover, always make sure to read more about window-type aircon, to know how it will fit in your home, its optimal installation method, and how can it help reduce the heating sensation during summer breaks.

JP Reyes

JP has been in the aircon industry for almost as long as he has been alive. As a child JP would help his tatay fix aircon units at their junk shop in Cavite. After graduating UP in the early 2000's, JP then started his own Aircon servicing business and within 5 years had 10 shops in 8 different cities. Fast forward to today and JP brings all his experience and expertise online to give readers trustworthy advice and reviews about Air-conditioning buying, servicing, cleaning and repair in the Philippines.

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