Air Conditioning Heating and Ventilation Services

Is It Safe to Run Your Air Conditioning During a Storm?

We know the arrival of summer in Florida means you want to pump your AC cooling through the roof. It also means hurricane season is upon us. While stormy weather generally brings along cooler temperatures, it’s still warm enough to keep the AC running.  


So that leads to the question… is it even safe to run your air conditioning during a storm? The truth is, thunderstorms can damage your unit if left running, so it’s ideal to shut it down when the weather takes a dark turn. Keep scrolling to find out why. 



Why Should You Shut Off Your AC During a Storm? 


With stormy weather comes the potential for lighting. Although hits to the home are uncommon, they are absolutely possible. Don’t be that guy who thinks it could never happen to you!  


The electrical service drop in particular is vulnerable to strikes. This is the point where electrical utility lines connect to your home electrical system. If lightning hits this target, it can send up to five billion joules of energy surging through your whole electrical system.  


This can all take place before your system even registers what is happening and is able to trip the breakers.  


A direct lightning strike will fry every engaged electrical component in your home before you can even blink. 



How Can Lightning Damage Your AC? 


If lightning strikes your electrical system while your HVAC unit is receiving power, it can render it useless. It may:  


  • Melt the plug of your unit 
  • Cause damage to the delicate electrical circuitry 
  • Corrupt the system controls 


Worst case scenario, it can even cause an electrical fire that puts your entire home and family at risk. Not worth it. Shut off the AC. 


What About a Window Air Conditioner? 


Lightning can also hit a window unit, especially if you live in an apartment high off the ground. Although it’s unlikely, a power surge could melt the plug and power port of your unit, which is a costly repair. Unless you’re in the market to buy a new window unit, it’s best to shut it off. 



Taking extra precautions is never a bad idea when it comes to our intense Florida weather. 



How Can You Protect Your HVAC System? 


Surge protectors are useless when it comes to lighting strikes, plus your AC unit will overload it anyways. This significantly raises your risk of a housefire, so those are off the list. What you can do is install a whole-home surge protector and other tools such as: 


  • Lightning rods 
  • Conductors 
  • Ground rods  


These devices can help prevent lighting from traveling through your home. In any case, it’s still a good idea to shut off major appliances, including your HVAC system. 


Stay Cool > How to Survive the Florida Heat with Our AC Maintenance Tips 


Protect Your Peace with ACHV Services  


Be at peace knowing your AC will stay safe through the season. We know it can get quite warm in Florida, but there are ways to survive a storm without the AC on full blast. What’s a greater problem – having to spend one afternoon slightly overheated or needing to purchase an entirely new HVAC system? 


No matter what AC problems you’re dealing with, you can count on our technicians to keep you cool. Contact us if you need any repairs or still need to get your system ready for hurricane season! 

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