What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your Air Conditioning Unit

What Happens When Lightning Strikes Your Air Conditioning Unit

Operate your cooling unit during a thunderstorm, and faster than lightning you’ll be asking yourself “Where can I find air conditioner repair near me?”. You might think that because it’s okay to run the AC during a rain shower, doing the same during a thunderstorm is no big deal. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that while it is rare for your home to actually get hit by lightning, the possibility is always there.

Lightning can wreak some pretty serious havoc, not just on your air conditioner, but on your whole electrical system. Let our AC repair experts at McLay explain what happens if you run your air conditioner during a lightning storm.

Extreme Power Surge

Lightning strikes carry an immense amount of energy, easily in the billion-Joules range. The electrical service drop atop your roof can act as a lightning rod, transferring this energy throughout the wires in your home and frying anything currently connected to it.

If your HVAC system is plugged in when this happens, you’ll be looking for an air conditioner repair near you very soon, as the surge will melt the rubber and plastic protective coating on the wires, overload the breakers and render the entire unit completely unusable.

Can Surge Protectors Help?

The short answer is no, surge protectors cannot help. Commercially available surge protectors simply aren’t designed to withstand the sudden increase in energy that comes with a lightning strike. This means that in a thunderstorm, plugging your AC into a surge protector is pretty much useless. Our experts recommend a lightning protection system instead, such as lightning and ground rods that would give the lightning an alternate route away from instead of into your home.

Finding the Best Air Conditioner Repair Near Me

Don’t forget to schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible immediately following a thunderstorm. If you believe your home has been struck and your air conditioner has been damaged, our professional technicians at McLay can help you identify and resolve any problems. McLay is your leading local provider of reliable residential HVAC and plumbing services. Call us today at (909) 392-2202 or fill out our online contact form for a free inspection or service quote. We serve homeowners in La Verne, CA.