The Tampa area is famous for many things, but one of the best known is its lightning. The high amount of thunderstorm activity each year is the reason why some people call Tampa the lightning capital of North America. All the electrically charged storms that light up a Florida summer can also cause problems for homeowners in the area when it comes to their air conditioning units.
Due to the amount of lightning in Tampa, many homeowners here have a problem with power surges and lightning strikes that can cause damage to their appliances and the wiring in their homes. One of the biggest appliances that can be harmed, and arguably one of the most important, is the air conditioner. Sometimes, lightning makes it necessary to do a whole new air conditioning installation in Tampa homes.
How does lightning hurt an air conditioner?
Lightning can damage appliances in a few different ways, and it all depends on where it strikes. For example, lightning is drawn to metal objects outside, which unfortunately means that AC units are a target. If lightning directly strikes an AC unit, it’s very likely going to fry it. If the AC unit still runs afterward, it will probably just circulate warm air without cooling it. Direct lightning strikes to air conditioners are not unheard of, but they are not the most common lightning damage to occur. It’s more likely that lightning will strike near the home and cause a power surge.
When lightning strikes near a home, it usually knocks the power out for at least a brief period of time. Power eventually returns to the home, and this can result in a power surge. This means that the voltage going into the home spikes too high, and the result is often damage the appliances and electronics that are plugged into the home. The damage isn’t always immediately apparent, and may only be noticed a few weeks or months later when the system fails.
Air conditioners should be inspected after a storm
Many homeowners don’t realize that an air conditioning unit is in danger during a storm, so they don’t know that it ought to be inspected if the power was knocked out by lightning. It’s important to call a technician right away to come out and take a look to make sure nothing was damaged by a power surge. Some of the most common parts that can be damaged by a surge include:
If the capacitor is damaged, it needs to be replaced before it can cause the compressor to fail later. The compressor is one of the most expensive parts of an air conditioner, and replacing it could cost as much as purchasing a whole new unit.
An experienced technician is the best person to inspect a unit for damage and recommend repairs. In some cases, the damage is too great, and the situation requires a whole new air conditioning installation. Tampa is a city that needs cool air in its homes, which is why AC maintenance is so important.