Ask Kaptain Kool: Hail Damage and Filter Driers

April 25, 2015 9:26 pm Published by

katpain koolDear Kaptain Kool,

The weather in Oklahoma is pretty wild this time of year, and last year I had to have my roof replaced because of hail damage. One of my friends said they were told to get their air conditioner checked for hail damage, too. Can that really happen? DeWayne, in Del City

It’s true your outdoor unit can be at the mercy of Mother Nature. If you remember from our explanation of how an a/c system works, your outdoor unit has a copper coil in it, which is surrounded by this metal fins. These finds help the heat from your home dissipate into the outside air. Those fins are particularly vulnerable to hail damage.

When those fins get mashed together by hail, air stops flowing around them, and they stop being able to do their jobs. Eventually, this can cause wear and tear on your system, and early failure of your compressor.

Wondering who has the greatest hail risk? I have bad news. It’s Kansas, then Texas, then us.


Kapt. K –

Talked to a guy about doing some work on my system, and he said he’d have to replace my filter drier. Why do my filters need to be dried? Do I have to replace this thing?

Duke, Moore

Well, Duke, despite the way the name sounds, a filter drier doesn’t actually dry your filters. What it does is filters and dries your system. Sludge can build up in your tubing, typically from the parts in the compressor making contact, and those tiny metal shavings can really do some damage if they’re left unchecked. So, your filter drier’s first job is to filter out the gunk. It’s second job is to dry up any moisture that might be in the system. The refrigerant inside your unit creates an acid when it meets up with water, and this can be pretty hard on your a/c. The filter drier will zap that moisture right up, before it becomes  a problem.

Any time your system is opened to the outside – any time a line is cut, or the compressor replaced, you should plan to replace your filter drier. This easy step will keep things running smoothly for much longer.

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This post was written by Air Conditioning Service, Inc.

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