Tips For Assessing Your Air Conditioning After An Electrical Storm

Posted on: 20 December 2016

If you live in an area that's prone to lightning storms, it's important that you understand how those storms can affect your central air conditioning system. After all, while most homeowners understand that a direct strike can cause damage, many don't realize that even indirect lightning strikes can lead to electrical damage that can affect your air conditioning. Here are a few things to watch for with your system following a storm.

Temperature Regulation

If your air conditioner suddenly stops regulating temperature properly or won't engage when the temperature is warmer than the thermostat setting, that's an indication that there's a short in the thermostat or some other failure. If you have an electric thermostat, look at the display itself. There should be no errors or anything if it's working correctly. If you cannot confirm that the thermostat is on and the temperature is correct, have an air conditioning technician test the thermostat and replace it if necessary.

Compressor Operation

If the thermostat is engaging the fan but the compressor itself isn't cycling on, that's an indication that the compressor inside the condenser is what's failing. If you can hear the fan turn on and off based on where the temperature is set on the thermostat, call an HVAC technician right away. He or she will have to disassemble the condenser to test and replace the compressor if it needs it. Don't try to do this on your own, as you could risk damaging the air conditioner without the proper training.

Hidden Troubles

It's natural to think that your air conditioning made it through the storm fine if you don't see any problems within the next day or so. This is a pretty reasonable, and usually correct, assumption. However, the fact is that you may actually not see the signs of damage for some time. If your air conditioner suffers any kind of electrical surge as a result of the storm, you'll want to have it serviced so that your technician can test for any electrical disruptions, weaknesses, or other problems. Sometimes the damage builds as a result of cumulative issues, not because of one single storm. That evaluation can help identify problems before they become destructive dangers.

Recognizing that your air conditioning condenser is at risk of damage from lightning storms is the first step, but knowing what kind of damage to watch for is just as important. Before the electrical storm season sets in again, talk with air conditioning services about a comprehensive assessment.