Does Saltwater Hurt My Air Conditioning Unit?

Air Conditioning unit with salt damage from Gulf of Mexico. Air-Ton Heating & AC blog image.

Living in Texas near the Gulf of Mexico is lovely. Unfortunately for homeowners in and around Houston, salty air can be harsh on your air conditioning unit.

That’s why it’s important to be proactive. First, you should set up a maintenance plan with your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional. Joining a plan ensures your equipment gets the attention it needs.

Additionally, purchasing cooling equipment for a coastal environment is a good idea. Some HVAC manufacturers make AC models that offer protection from salt and sand damage.

Are you looking for a new system near Houston? Upgrading from an AC unit 10 years or older to a new efficiency model could reduce your monthly energy spending by 20 to 40 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Call Air-Ton Heating & AC today for all your HVAC services.

What Does the Salty Air Do to My Air Conditioning Unit?

Live within 15-20 miles of the ocean basin? You may have already noticed how salty air affects your outdoor fixtures. Metals rapidly corrode. Additionally, wood surfaces begin to look “fuzzy” after salt eats away at them.

Similarly, salt and sand residue can wreak havoc on the compressor––the outdoor component of your air-conditioning unit. This can erode the aluminum fins within just a few years of installation. Once they are damaged, your compressor will be unable to expel warm air from your Texas home.

How to Protect Your AC Compressor

The Air-Ton Heating & AC team recommends covering your outdoor compressor during stretches of the year when your air conditioner isn’t in use. This will prevent salt and sand from getting stuck in the fins, which leads to corrosion.

When your AC is in use, clean it with water. This is entirely safe to do whether the unit is operating or on standby. Move your hose back and forth in a horizontal motion to remove any visible debris.

Do I Have a Damaged Compressor?

Regularly, you should inspect the condition of your fins, looking for any signs of deterioration. Gently run your index finger along the tops of the fins. If they break off, this indicates an issue.

If large patches of your fins are missing and the coils are visible, it’s likely time for a replacement. In this instance, air-conditioning systems cannot produce sufficient cooling to keep your home comfortable.

What Benefits Do I Get with Preventative Maintenance?

Seasonal check-ups are vital for preserving HVAC equipment, especially for homeowners near saltwater.

Some of the benefits you can experience are:

  • Better indoor air quality.
  • Lowering your energy bill.
  • Reducing the risk for repairs.
  • The overall lifespan of your AC unit.

Our Maintenance Plan makes scheduling appointments a breeze with friendly reminders, service discounts and the option to skip the line. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Call Today for Expert HVAC Service

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Air-Ton Heating & AC is pleased to take care of all your heating and cooling needs. Call today at 713-661-2760 or request service online.

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Call us at (713) 661-2760!