Increased heat and humidity are common when a thunderstorm is brewing. Once it hits, the temperature and humidity will go down but before it does, you might experience a bit of discomfort. In situations like this, homeowners often ask if it’s safe to run their air conditioners.
Trusted HVAC and plumbing repair experts answer this common question.
Is It Safe to Run Your AC During a Thunderstorm?
Lightning is almost always present during thunderstorms. If it strikes your AC unit, it can sustain serious damage if it is running. If there’s a thunderstorm headed your way, turn off your AC. While small, the probability of a lightning strike increases if your equipment is running and using electricity. Turning off your AC during a storm does not guarantee that it won’t suffer damage. However, it reduces the likelihood of serious issues. Minor repairs might be necessary but they are better than replacing the compressor or needing a new air conditioning system.
What Can Lightning Do to Your AC Unit?
Lightning can damage different parts of your air conditioner. Turning off your AC will protect its wiring and fuses from lightning-related problems. The capacitor is the component that is most prone to lightning damage. Once it has been compromised, other system components can also malfunction. Another component at risk during thunderstorms is the compressor. It can take some time to determine if it has suffered damage. If it has, repairs often involve significant costs. If you suspect that lightning hit your AC unit or if it malfunctions after a storm, contact a reliable technician immediately.
For prompt and efficient HVAC solutions, turn to R.A. Biel Plumbing and Heating. We specialize in air conditioning repairs, new heating system installation and more! Call us at (505) 327-7755 or fill out our contact form to schedule service.