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Summer Thunderstorms: Protecting your AC

A thunderstorm has the potential to cause severe problems for electrical equipment. Along with heavy rains and high winds, summer thunderstorms can generate random lightning strikes. Studies reveal that lightning can strike up to 15 miles away from the storm where the skies are clear. When lightning strikes a power line, electricity can travel through the wiring in your home and into appliances that are plugged in the outlets. These electrical surges can be harmful to electronic equipment, including the controls of your air conditioning system. As a result, the National Disaster Education Coalition recommends that people turn their air conditioners off during a thunderstorm. The following steps will help you protect your air conditioning system during periods of severe weather.

Before the Storm Arrives

Watch the weather reports for information about severe weather in your area. If you hear thunder, you are within the range of a potential lightning strike. When the threat of a severe storm is reported in your area, turn your AC system off completely. Consult your owner’s manual because the proper steps can vary. You should at least turn the system off at the thermostat. If possible, cover the outside unit to prevent heavy rain from flooding the interior compartment of the housing that could short out sensitive electronic components.

After the Storm Passes

Wait at least thirty minutes after the storm has passed before you activate the unit. Turn the thermostat on, and lower the temperature to a level that will cause the unit to come on. Determine whether a circuit breaker has tripped if the air conditioner fails to produce cool air. Some units have two breakers. One should be located in your home’s electrical panel, and the other will be inside an electrical box near the outside unit. If your unit does not operate as it should and you do not know how to reset or troubleshoot it, contact our office. A member of our experienced team will schedule a convenient time to get your HVAC system back up and running.

Keeping Cool During the Storm

With the air conditioner off, the temperature and humidity will rise inside your home during the storm. Open your windows slightly to improve ventilation. Turn on ceiling and box fans to circulate the air. Heat rises, so remain on lower floors as the upper floors of your home will be warmer. A basement is the coolest and safest place to wait until a severe storm is over.

Contact the Pros

Your air conditioning system is one of the most expensive major appliances in your Millbrook, AL home. It is important that you take precautions to protect this investment when severe weather approaches. If you need more information on protecting your AC unit, such as the proper procedure for shutting it off or restarting it, contact our office. A member of our friendly staff at AC by Luquire will be glad to assist you.

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