The end of last year had a bit of a wild phenomena here in Phoenix, we saw hail! While it might not be the most common thing in Arizona weather, it causes the same trouble here as anywhere else! That’s why we’re going to talk about how to inspect your AC unit for hail damage and answer “Just what does hail damage look like on a roof?” This and more here on the ACE Home Services blog!
What Does Hail Damage Look Like on a Roof?
If you’re worried you have hail damage on your roof and AC unit, you can start by taking a look at your mailbox, then move on to investigating your gutters and downspouts before making it onto your roof proper.
Depending on the material your mailbox is made of this will be the easiest thing to inspect for damage. Look for the telltale signs of dents in a metal box or cracks and holes in plastic ones.
Gutters and Downspouts
If your mailbox is made of metal then you will already know what to look for on your gutters and downspouts: dimples and dents in the metal.
With damage spotted in these two areas, you can be sure your AC unit was in the storm and needs a look.
While you’re looking at your gutters, pay attention for any loose granules, or pieces of shingles or tiles (depending on your roofing). If you see any of these it’s a surefire thing that your roof has endured a winter weather wallop and needs some TLC.
Hail damage to your roof will look like cracked or split shingles, warped tiles, dented metal, cracked lights, dented roofing, the list goes on.
Now, for what we here at ACE can really help with!
Hail Damage and Your AC
Air conditioning units are meant to be tough, they should be able to stand up to quite a bit, but that doesn’t mean they are invulnerable (unfortunately!). Here are the three parts of the AC unit most susceptible to hail damage.
Parts of the AC are Vulnerable to Hail Damage
Usually, the damage hail does is to the fins along the outside of the unit. These fins are very delicate and allow for all the airflow into the condenser coil inside the unit without letting anything inside. A few somewhat flattened fins are nothing to worry about, the unit should have enough to compensate. But if there are more than a few, or a whole section of flattened fins your unit’s performance will drastically suffer. This cuts off the necessary air flow to the condenser coil, making for a whole host of new problems.
Internals and Fan Blades
If the hail is particularly small or fine (not unlike the kind of hail we saw in November!) there’s a risk that the little chunks of ice were small enough to get through the fan blades, denting them along the way, and damaging the internal components of the unit.
The other place hail is most likely to cause you problems are the connections of wiring to the unit.
What Hail Damage Does to Your AC
Should your AC take some hits, the following problems are likely.
- Lost performance
- Lost reliability
- Lost efficiency
- Reduced airflow through the coils
- Higher refrigerant temperature
- Refrigerant leaks
- Complete loss of the cooling system, in extreme cases
With these kinds of problems likely, you don’t want to wait until it’s too late to inspect your AC and get it repaired. Trying to power through the damage and run your AC as usual with leaking refrigerant is a surefire way to a busted unit and a much higher repair bill – right when you need your AC the most! Grab your ladder and take a look, or give us a call and we’ll have somebody out there in no time to inspect for hail damage, and any other problems that might have cropped up – before it impacts your day to day!