Usually, when we think of hail damage, we imagine the destruction of our roofs, windows, or windshields. But what about our air conditioning systems? Unfortunately, our ACs are not off the hook when it comes to hail. Hail damage is not limited to just cosmetic damage either, it can also cause destruction to key components of an air conditioning unit. The National Weather Service claims that hail alone causes $1 billion worth of damage to our properties every year. As long as something’s sitting outside, it’s vulnerable to hail. Our AC’s are no exception here. So let’s talk about the ins and outs of hail damage and our air conditioning systems. From identifying if it’s minor to severe damage to how it can get damaged, let’s jump in.

Hail Damage & Your AC

Minor to severe damage

Damage can range from super mild to severe when it comes to your AC unit. Maybe there are just a few indentations here and there that can get popped out fairly easily. Typically, you’ll want to call a qualified technician for this job. Although if you’re down for the challenge, you’ll only want to take it on yourself if it’s mild like this. A qualified technician will use fin combs to fit between aluminum slats. If the fins cover up more than 30% of the area or are more than 1/8 inch deep, this will probably be considered moderate damage. This level of damage will need much more work and it’s advised that you call for help.

Any more damage than 30% will be considered severe. At this point, the coils and refrigerant tubing may be destroyed and will need to be addressed immediately. Thankfully a good insurance policy may be able to cover the repair costs, so you’ll want to check with your agent. Help is always just around the corner.

How it can get damaged

Your AC is surrounded by metal walls and screens that provide protection against the elements. However, these protectors are not exactly indestructible. Not only can the outside get damaged, but the fan’s fins can as well. If the damage is severe enough, it can actually reshape the fins and cause them to lose their effectiveness. This will eventually reduce the airflow in the system altogether. Your AC will need to act extra hard with inadequate results. Having blocked airflow will cause your AC to run nonstop. Your energy bills will most likely skyrocket. It will start to wear out more quickly and bills and service repairs will be more frequent.

If even one part is damaged, it will most likely affect the entire air conditioning system. AC’s are complex and interwoven systems. Dents in your fans may not be a cause for concern. However, if the tubing system has been damaged it can break the thermostat wiring connection or rupture a refrigerant tube.

Additional Reading: Heat and Cool Efficiently

To simplify and wrap things up, here are the four things to look for after a hailstorm:

  1. Cosmetic damage. Pings and dents will be present but the internal components may still be working just fine. Don’t panic!
  2. Damage to the coils. If the outer shell has been penetrated, it’s possible that coils may be experiencing leakage.
  3. Electrical lines. If an electrical line has been struck, your AC will no longer be working properly. These lines connect the thermostat to the outdoor condenser (an incredibly important function of the entire system).
  4. The fan blades. The fan blades are the most common part to get damaged due to their sensitivity. Collisions can cause wobbliness, bends, and breaks in them.

Damage to your system

Detecting the severity of your AC damage is the first step in figuring out if and what needs to be replaced. Does it look like a mild exterior problem or do things not seem quite right internally? The most common damage happens when the stones hit those fins directly, so make sure to check them. If you’re not quite sure, call up Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning, your local HVAC professional, to assess. It may save you exponentially in the long run.

Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning – Residential & Commercial HVAC Services in Omaha & Council Bluffs

Air Care Heating and Air Conditioning is a full-service HVAC company located in Council Bluffs & Omaha. We know how important well-functioning heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are to your home or business, especially living in the Midwest. No matter what your heating and cooling needs, we provide a variety of heating and cooling HVAC services committed to exceeding your expectations with 100% customer satisfaction. Contact us today for your routine maintenance service, repairs, or installation requests -and let us show you the difference.