The last thing you want to do during a thunderstorm is turn on your air conditioner. The reason for this is because it can put a massive strain on the electric grid and could lead to power outages. When we have thunderstorms, they usually bring cooler temperatures outside so there may not be a need for your AC unit.
The Cons Of Turning On Your Air Conditioning Unit During A Thunderstorm
Thunderstorms are a dangerous time for air conditioners. AC units can be damaged through power surges. The house’s rooftop utility drop is susceptible to lightning strikes, which could result in power surges from the electrical system when the breakers are triggered. In a fraction of a second, your air conditioner might sustain damage before it shuts off automatically
A lightning strike can render your air conditioner unusable. The system’s control panel, which contains sensitive electrical circuitry, can be damaged so it requires a repair or replacement of the entire unit; if this happens when the system is operating during a storm you risk damaging the heating and cooling systems as well.
Protecting Your Air Conditioner During A Thunderstorm
Sadly, Surge protectors won’t provide the protection that you are looking for, It’s best to keep your AC unit unplugged. A better method to protect your AC unit is by installing a lightning protection system. First use lightning rods, then conductors, and lastly grounding rods. By utilizing all three you will be able to catch the electricity and deliver it safely to the ground. But the best method is cheaper than the protection system and that’s to make sure you unplug your AC unit during a thunderstorm.
Don’t Worry About Using Your Air Conditioning Unit During Rainstorms
You can continue to use your AC system during rainstorms. Rain has no effect on the immediate function of the outside unit, and using it in rainy conditions may make the home more comfortable — evaporator coils will extract moisture from air conditioning systems with lower humidity levels. Remember to turn off power at electrical panels if flooding occurs and have your preferred HVAC contractor inspect it.