Thunderstorms and rocky weather are a way of life here in the Metro-East Area and we are all aware that there are some safety precautions we should follow when severe weather starts. Head indoors or take cover, do not sit near windows, roll up your car windows if driving, etc. but many people may not be aware of the risks that come from running their AC Units during thunderstorms.
The extremely hot, sticky, humid conditions that make you want to run your AC are the same conditions that thunderstorms thrive in. Unfortunately, running your AC during a storm can cause some serious and expensive damage to the unit. So, it is a good idea to shut your AC off when a storm rolls in.
Why Are Thunderstorms and AC Units A Bad Combination?
One of the most dangerous elements of any storm is the possibility of lightning, and AC’s are not immune to the damage that comes with a lightning strike. The good news is that lightning striking homes are rare, but they are possible. And if lightning strikes the spot were your utility lines connect to your roof, five billion joules of electricity will surge throughout your home’s electrical system and wiring. This power can surge through your home before the breakers have a chance to be triggered to trip, leaving your electrical devices and appliances vulnerable.
Your AC can be rendered completely unusable by the damage caused by a lightning strike. If your AC is running when lightning hits your home, the delicate electrical circuitry of your AC Unit can be completely fried and the plug for your unit can be melted. Your AC could require expensive repairs or need to be replaced outright.
In order to protect your AC Unit, it is best to turn it off when Thunderstorms or lightning begins rolling in.