Lightning strike over house

Protect Your HVAC System From Storms

In warmer weather, the flowers and vegetables in our gardens aren’t the only things that pop up—so do thunderstorms.

A power surge from lightning can cause irreparable damage throughout your home. It’s common to guard against this by using surge protectors for TVs, computers and major appliances. But have you considered protecting one of your biggest investments–your heating and cooling system?

Today’s HVAC systems utilize sophisticated technology to deliver unprecedented effectiveness and efficiency, but they are still vulnerable to power surges. These surges often result from lightning, but can also occur from utility malfunctions or electrical fluctuations inside your home. Whatever the cause, voltage spikes can damage your heating and cooling system’s circuit board, as well as the motor and compressor. When this happens, you are facing a costly repair or, even worse, a total replacement.

MTB Mechanical recommends installing a surge protector as a simple and affordable way to safeguard your system from these voltage spikes, helping to ensure your comfort and investment aren’t compromised. Using our seasonal specials, you can save $20 off a surge protector when you act before June 30. 

There are other ways to trouble-shoot the threat of summer storms to your A/C unit. According to North Carolina Emergency Management, lightning can strike as far as 10 miles away from the rain area of a thunderstorm. If you hear thunder, you are well within the range of a potential lightning strike. Turn your air conditioner completely off at the thermostat.

With the air conditioner off during a thunderstorm, you can expect the temperature and the humidity to rise. Opening your windows slightly for ventilation is helpful. The lower floors of your home will be cooler as heat rises and, if the weather is severe, a basement is always the safest and coolest place to wait out a storm.

After the storm has passed, wait at least 30 minutes before turning your air conditioner back on. Start by turning the thermostat on and lowering the temperature to a level that will start the unit. If the A/C fails to produce cool air, chances are a circuit breaker has been tripped. One breaker will be in your home’s electrical panel, and the other will be inside an electrical box near your outside unit.If your air conditioner is hit by lightning, MTB Mechanical technicians can assess the damage and make any necessary repairs if possible. But because prevention is the best safeguard, ask your technician about installing a surge protector. MTB’s team of experts are dedicated to protecting your HVAC investment and have been for decades. Don’t hesitate to call our team at 704.321.9250 or request an appointment online. The MTB family is here to serve yours!