You may think that your home's air conditioning is protected from any damage during a thunderstorm if it isn't directly struck by lightning. The truth is, lightning strikes nearby can cause just as much damage as a direct hit. The electricity from the lightning can cause spikes in the power in your home, which may trip the circuit that the air conditioner is on. Here's a look at what you should know about troubleshooting your air conditioner after a thunderstorm.
If your air conditioner isn't regulating temperatures correctly, or it isn't turning on and off at the proper temperatures, it could be an indication that the thermostat was shorted out due to a power spike. If the thermostat is electric, check the display panel to see if it's still working. Make sure the thermostat is on, the air conditioning is on, and the temperature is set properly. If all of these things are correct, there's a good chance that the thermostat may have been damaged. Try replacing the thermostat and having an air conditioning technician test the system.
The electrical surge that a lightning strike can cause may damage the compressor inside your air conditioning unit. If the thermostat seems to be working otherwise and activates the fan the way that it should, it may mean that the source of the issue is inside the air conditioning unit itself. If the compressor is shorted out, you'll have to have the unit serviced by an air conditioning specialist, because he or she will be the only ones with the training to replace the compressor safely and without damaging the rest of the system.
You may think you're in the clear if your air conditioner responds normally after a severe thunderstorm. While this likely means that your air conditioner escaped damage, there may be some hidden issues that can cause premature wear and component failure. You can have the air conditioner serviced and then have all of the electrical components tested for weaknesses or any residual damage. This is an important process, because the system may not be as efficient as it was, or there may be some wiring damage that is causing the system to work harder than it needs to.
The sooner you identify potential issues with your air conditioning after a thunderstorm, the better your chances will be of having it repaired without serious lasting effects or issues with your home's wiring. If you're unsure about the condition of your air conditioner or you're wondering if it was affected by recent lightning strikes, looking for these issues may help.
To learn more, contact a company like Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp.