Do you ever worry about your ducted air conditioning system when the rain is falling? It might be a cause for concern; after all, there is a component to the system that is wired for electricity, and it's right outside, possibly without shelter from the elements. But is it a legitimate concern? Will your air conditioner have any issues or even a potentially dangerous short circuit after some heavy rainfall?
Yes, the condensing unit of your air conditioner is outside. And yes, it's connected to your home's electricity supply. At face value, this might seem like a precarious situation, but it's important to remember that the unit is designed and constructed with the view that it will be exposed to the elements. It's made to be outside in all types of weather, so you don't need to worry about it unless there is extreme weather.
If you've ever taken a close look at your condensing unit, you will have noticed its design. There are a number of grilles and vents, often protected with angled slats that allow the intake of air while preventing the majority of any rain from entering the unit. These grilles also allow for any water to drain out. Provided these grilles are kept clean and free of debris, any water should drain out without any issues. This is how the unit has been designed.
Still, the thought of water inside an electrical appliance can be disconcerting. But this again comes down to the design of the unit. All of the condensing unit's electrical components are insulated and sealed (waterproofed). These seals should be checked on a regular basis (as part of the unit's recommended maintenance) to ensure that their waterproofing remains intact.
If you wish to place a cover over your condensing unit during the winter months, please only use a cover that has been designed specifically for this purpose. A tarpaulin or plastic drop sheet can in fact create too much of a seal. This means that any moisture inside the unit will not be able to drain out, and can then damage the interior of the unit.
It's a logical reaction, but of course you should also have the condensing unit inspected after flooding. Its waterproof components might have been damaged if the unit has spent an extended period of time in standing water.
So while the rain generally will not affect your air conditioner, there are some instances when you need to be mindful of the effect that rain can have on the unit.