April showers and thunderstorms are a pleasant reminder that winter is behind us. It is not so pleasant, however, when lightning strikes and a power surge ruins your HVAC system. This post helps you understand what action to take when lightning strikes, and how to minimize the chance of power damage to your system altogether.
The best defense is simply to shut your system off at the thermostat during a storm. This generally makes it very difficult for a power surge to affect your system. As an extreme, you can shut off the electrical circuit to the entire HVAC system. No measures are a complete guarantee, however.
If you suspect your system has been hit by a power surge then it’s time to carefully and safely take action. If you smell gas or burning after a lightning strike then leave the premises immediately and contact 9-1-1. Only after you’ve insured your safety should you begin to investigate what’s happened.
Insurance companies will want to see specifics. If you were home, take note of what you experienced. Check other appliances and electronics. Showing that other items were simultaneously damaged is often the easiest way to prove on a claim that the cause was a power surge. Take photos or a video of anything that was affected as soon as you are able.
If you have power, try starting the system from the thermostat. Determine if both the indoor fan and outdoor condenser start up. Document all your findings.
If power failures are common in your neighborhood, you may also want to consider a back-up power generator. Owens’ licensed technicians can install a generator to meet your back-up power demands.
Power surges are an unfortunate reality during this time of year. Knowing how to act and responding quickly are your best protection. Remember to not accept final payment from your insurance company until you are sure of all the damage that has been done and have contacted Owens for an inspection and a repair quote.