ac hail damage

Surviving Hail Season: Addressing and Preventing AC Hail Damage in St. Louis

Surviving Hail Season: Addressing and Preventing AC Hail Damage in St. Louis

Dealing with unpredictable weather, including hailstorms, can be a challenge for homeowners and their air conditioning systems. At Vitt Heating & Cooling, we recognize the unique obstacles faced by AC units in our region and have the expertise to address them. In this blog, we will explore common issues that occur when AC units are hit by hail and provide valuable insight for those considering replacing their damaged air conditioner. We will also discuss how annual AC maintenance aligns with hail season and how scheduling routine HVAC maintenance can help prevent further damage. If you have recently experienced hail damage, contact Vitt Heating & Cooling at (314) 351-5580 or submit an online form below to schedule a maintenance check before the summer heat arrives.

Hail Damage in Unpredictable Weather: What to Expect

Typical Hailstorm Season

Hailstorms usually occur during the spring and early summer months, coinciding with the best time for annual AC maintenance. Hail forms when strong updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward, where they freeze and combine with other frozen droplets to form hailstones. Hailstorms can be highly localized, with one neighborhood being hit hard while another nearby remains unscathed.

Types of Hail Damage to AC Units

Hail damage to AC units can range from minor cosmetic issues to more serious functional problems. Here are some common types of hail damage you may encounter:

  1. Dented or damaged fins on the condenser coil: The delicate aluminum fins on your AC's condenser coil can easily become bent or damaged by hail, which can restrict airflow and reduce the unit's efficiency.
  2. Damaged condenser fan blades: Hail can also cause the fan blades in your outdoor unit to become bent, cracked, or broken, leading to reduced airflow and increased strain on the motor.
  3. Punctured or damaged refrigerant lines: In some cases, hail can puncture or damage the refrigerant lines, causing refrigerant leaks and reduced cooling performance.
  4. Cracked or damaged housing: Hail can crack or damage the housing around your outdoor unit, allowing water, dirt, and debris to enter and potentially damage the electrical components inside.
ac hail damage

Assessing the Damage: When to Repair or Replace

Repairing Hail Damage to Your AC Unit

In some cases, hail damage to your AC unit can be repaired. Bent fins can be straightened with a fin comb, damaged fan blades can be replaced, and minor refrigerant leaks can be sealed. However, the cost and feasibility of repairs depend on the extent of the damage and the age of your system. If your AC is relatively new and the damage is minor, repairing the unit may be the most cost-effective option.

Repairing Hail Damage to Your AC Unit

If your air conditioner is older or has sustained significant hail damage, it may be more cost-effective to replace the unit entirely. Newer, more energy-efficient models can save you money on your energy bills and may even qualify for tax credits or rebates. Additionally, replacing your damaged unit can give you peace of mind knowing that your new system is protected by a warranty.

Preventing Future Hail Damage

While you can't control the weather, there are steps you can take to protect your AC unit from future hail damage:

  1. Install a hail guard: Hail guards are designed to protect your outdoor unit from hail and other debris. They are typically made of sturdy metal or plastic and can be easily installed by a professional.
  2. Consider a protective cover: Protective covers can shield your AC unit from hail and other elements when it's not in use, such as during the winter months. Make sure to choose a breathable cover that allows for proper airflow to prevent condensation and mold growth.
  3. Keep your unit well-maintained: Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the condenser coil and checking for refrigerant leaks, can help your AC unit function more efficiently and reduce the risk of damage from hail and other factors.

Schedule Your AC Maintenance Today

As unpredictable weather and hailstorms often coincide with the best time for annual AC maintenance in the St. Louis area, it's important to schedule routine HVAC maintenance checks as we head into the summer months. By ensuring that your AC unit is in good working order, you can minimize the impact of hail damage and keep your home cool and comfortable.

If you have recently experienced hail damage or need to schedule a routine maintenance check, don't hesitate to contact Vitt Heating & Cooling. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping homeowners in St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, and the Metro East maintain and protect their AC units from hail damage and other weather-related challenges. To schedule an appointment, call us at (314) 351-5580 or submit an online form below. We're here to help you navigate the decision-making process and provide expert advice on repair or replacement options for your damaged air conditioner.