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Is It Okay to Run My AC in a Thunderstorm? A Miami Tech Answers

A thunderstorm

During a Florida thunderstorm, you’ve probably wondered if you should turn your AC off. But does it actually protect your system, or is it a misconception?

Our answer: Turning off your AC during a thunderstorm won’t do anything. Your AC is still connected to your home’s main circuit, so regardless of whether your AC is “off” or not, it’s still susceptible to power surges.

The best way to protect your AC during a thunderstorm is to use a surge protector. These are commonly installed by HVAC technicians during your AC installation, but they can also be added retroactively.

To further explain how to keep your Florida home’s AC system safe during a thunderstorm, let’s review:

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How Surge Protectors Work With Your AC System

Surge protectors monitor the electrical current that flows through your home’s wiring and into your AC system.

During a thunderstorm, indirect lightning strikes produce electrical surges. Once the electrical surge current reaches unsafe voltage levels, the surge protector jumps into action and diverts the extra voltage into the ground, away from your AC and home.

In Florida, thunderstorms often occur in the hot summer months when you’re most likely to use the AC. So, it’s a good idea to consider installing a surge protector in tandem with your AC. However, it’s important that you discuss your home’s exact needs with a trusted HVAC contractor. After a careful assessment, they’ll present the exact, if any, electrical modifications needed.

Have questions? Call Freezing Mechanical’s NATE-certified pros and we’d be happy to answer them: (305) 363-7021. You can also schedule an AC repair or book a free AC installation quote through our website.

How to Protect Your AC from Water Damage

Damage caused by a flood

Florida’s hurricane season brings frequent flooding.

During Miami’s hurricane season, it’s important to protect your AC from water damage. If you notice water coming up to your outdoor unit, shut off your AC’s circuit breaker at your electrical panel to prevent damage.

Once the storm has passed, you should probably have a technician come out to inspect your AC if there was flooding. Depending on the layout of your property (especially its slope or grading) they might recommend that you elevate your unit onto a concrete surface to circumvent water damage.

Note: You might think to cover your AC’s outdoor unit during a storm, but we don’t recommend it. Your AC’s outdoor unit needs at least two feet of clearance on all sides in order to operate safely and efficiently. Plus, it’s made to withstand the elements, including rainfall.

Why It’s Important to Hire an Experienced AC Installer

To safeguard against power surges, water damage, and a host of other problems that can affect your AC’s performance, it’s crucial that Miami homeowners hire only qualified and experienced HVAC technicians to install their AC systems.

Although it may seem tempting to go with the cheapest possible contractor, you don’t want to risk dealing with:

  • Costly repeat labor. If your AC isn’t installed properly the first go around, you’ll end up paying even more to have an experienced technician come and fix any errors. This is especially true for complex electrical modifications, such as surge protectors.
  • Potentially dangerous consequences. AC systems are complex pieces of machinery with numerous wires and components that need to be handled safely. If an amateur AC installer doesn’t follow code and safety compliance to a T, you could endure potentially dangerous consequences. This includes the risk of electrical fires, which can happen during and after thunderstorms.
  • Higher energy bills. Experienced HVAC technicians may charge more for an AC installation, but they’ll take the time to ensure you have the right-sized AC system for your home’s size, layout, and power needs. If you hire a novice technician, they might guide you to the wrong choice, which can end up costing you a fortune in energy bills. During Miami’s hot, humid, and stormy season, this is one less thing you want to worry about!

The Benefits of Routine AC Maintenance

We recommend having your AC professionally maintained at least once a year, especially before the summer season starts.

For one, an HVAC technician will have the chance to inspect for any safety issues, such as broken parts, frayed wires, or other malfunctioning components. In preparation for a major thunderstorm, you’ll have peace of mind that your AC system is safe to operate.

Second, you’ll keep your warranty valid, which can reduce your out-of-pocket expenses in the event you need a repair.

Lastly, with an AC system set up for maximum efficiency, you’ll enjoy fewer breakdowns and lower energy bills.

Call Freezing Mechanical to schedule an AC tune-up today. Our licensed technicians will keep your AC free of trouble and functioning safely all summer long. Rain or shine!

Want Trustworthy AC Advice From South Florida Experts?

Turn to Freezing Mechanical. Our technicians are NATE-certified, which is the most respected HVAC certification for technical excellence. We also undergo frequent manufacturer training to stay on top of all aspects of AC installations.

Call us today for same-day repairs, free installation estimates, and professional AC advice backed by hundreds of 5-star reviews from Miami customers: (305) 363-7021.