Lightning and your AC unit
Lightning can affect your AC unit.
Living in SW Florida means beautiful beaches, tropical breezes, and sunshine for most of the year. However, when rainy season hits, residents are faced with the threat of hurricanes, tropical disturbances, and severe thunderstorms. Furthermore, lightning strikes often accompany these weather conditions, which can cause power surges. When lightning strikes, your AC unit can be damaged.
Why worry about lightning?
On average, Florida has 3,500 cloud to ground lightning flashes per day, and 1.2 million flashes per year, as reported by Vaisala. This common culprit can cause a significant power surge through your home’s electrical system, “frying” circuits on your AC unit, melting plastic and metal parts. It can also severely damage an air conditioner’s capacitor which, if left alone, will eventually damage the compressor. This can result in costly repairs or replacement of your AC unit.
In other cases, the damage is gradual, and you may not even see it right away. These weak surges typically won’t melt parts or blow fuses; however, they can cause “electronic rust,” gradually deteriorating your AC unit’s internal circuits until it ultimately fails.
For these reasons, it’s important to have your AC equipment checked out after a storm by a professional at Sunset Air.
How can I protect my AC unit from lightning strikes?
Your AC is only susceptible to power surges when it is running. Therefore, it is best to turn off your AC (at the thermostat), during a storm. You may get a little uncomfortable and muggy for a short time, but it will be well worth it knowing you are protecting your AC equipment.
A whole-home surge protector is an option to consider for optimum protection. Its job is to prevent electrical damage to your AC unit, home appliances, and electronics. Surge protectors monitor the incoming current, diverting that current to ground when they detect an increase that is unsafe. This safeguard prevents excess current from damaging your AC system circuitry and components. As a result, you avoid unexpected expenses on AC repairs or replacement.
Call Sunset Air for an evaluation of your AC unit.
If you’ve experienced a power surge and you feel your AC is not running correctly, call us. You can count on our professionals to evaluate your AC system, and help you resolve any issue, efficiently and affordably.
Contact us today, 239-693-9005.