HVAC Preparedness During Storms
The National Weather Service estimates that approximately 4400 homes are struck by lightning each year. We thought this was a good blog topic in light of the dreary weather we have had recently had here in the lowcountry and the recent lightning strikes that have compromised HVAC units on James Island, South Carolina (http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20140802/PC16/140809829).
HVAC systems can be exposed to physical damage from wind, water, and lightening. This type of damage usually consists of blown fuses, burnt capacitors, and fried compressors. When bad weather strikes, it is wise to turn off the air conditioner and furnace at the thermostat. You could even go one step further and switch the power off to the indoor and outdoor units at the circuit breaker. Also, individual suppressors at the HVAC equipment can protect surges that come from voltage surges coming though other home wiring such as cable or phone lines.
Additionally, while on the topic of storm preparedness, it is very important that you have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to protect you, your family, and you home during inclement weather.
Please make sure that you document the possible lightning strike in detail for your insurance company. Most insurance policies do cover power surge damage to HVAC units. If other electronics have been damaged as well, that is typically proof of a lightning strike. It is wise to have your HVAC company check your unit after a potential surge because any ignored damage can lead to more costly repairs. For example, a capacitor is a relatively inexpensive repair but an ignored damaged capacitor can lead to a failed compressor which is a more costly replacement.
If you suspect that you may be the victim of a lightning strike or power surge, please don’t hesitate to call us at (843) 352-8140.
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