Here Are the Ways Lightning Damages Your Central AC

HVAC service in Wake ForestDid you know that the most common cause of damage to your air conditioner during a summer storm isn't a direct lightning strike? While it is possible for the lightning to strike the exterior unit of your air conditioner, the most common cause of damage from an intense summer storm is actually the power surge that happens after lightning strikes the ground nearby or the power has been restored from an outage. Let's take a closer look. For quality and affordable HVAC service in Wake Forest, call the pros at Choice HVAC.

During a power surge, the voltage in your home can spike to more than 169 volts, much higher than the 120 volts most of your home's appliances and electronics require to work. The damage to your home's air conditioning unit may not be immediately apparent. Over the course of several weeks or months after the initial strike, you may notice that your air conditioner doesn't work as well or that your energy bill is increasing slowly.

The most common issues with air conditioners after a lightning strike include:

Blown Fuses

If the excessive voltage has damaged your air conditioning unit, it is not uncommon for your air conditioner to blow a fuse or trip the breaker as the unit cycles on. Units that have these issues should be inspected by an HVAC professional as soon as possible. Discontinue using the unit right away and call for service.

Burned Wires

Wires that have been fried by the power surge may no longer make strong connections or connect at all. Your unit may cycle on and off sporadically or fail to function at all. Have your unit serviced and inspected right away as this is a potential fire hazard.

Damaged Capacitor

After a power surge, the capacitor in your unit may be damaged. A damaged capacitor can lead to further problems, including the failure of your air conditioner's compressor.

Failing Compressor

Weeks or months after the lightning strike or power surge occurs, the compressor in your air conditioner may give out. It is important to have your air conditioning unit serviced after a lightning strike to avoid having to replace the compressor in your unit.

Preventing damage from lightning strikes and power surges to your unit is possible with some basic preparation. Adding a panel-mounted surge protector to your home's electrical box can provide protection for your HVAC unit from these surges. It can also protect the appliances and electronics throughout your home from damaging surges as well. During a strong electrical storm, turn off your air conditioning unit and thermostat. If power is not running when the lightning hits or the surge occurs, the likelihood that severe damage will occur is lessened. Once the storm has passed and power has been restored, turn your thermostat on and then your air conditioning unit.

Top Rated HVAC Service in Wake Forest, NC

If your system has suffered damage in a storm and you need HVAC service in Wake Forest, NC, call the HVAC professionals at Choice Heating and Air Conditioning to come to inspect and service your unit. Don't wait until your HVAC system fails and you're left without air conditioning to make the call, schedule your system checkup today!

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