Lightning Damage

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LightningOver the summer, we will see many serious thunderstorms roll through the area,  like every year we will be flooded with calls from concerned homeowners when their home AC system stops working after a storm passes their home! In some cases, the AC doesn’t work, but the fan runs non-stop, regardless of what you do, recirculating the warm air into your home.!

In this article, we wanted to cover a few safety precautions you can take, as well as a few quick things to check before you call us for AC Repair. While there is no way we can cover every component or equipment check our technicians will need to do after a lightning strike, it’s a good DIY starting point.

What To Do If You Think Lightning Hit Your Air Conditioner or Heat Pump

1 – Document the Event!

The first thing we suggest you do, is document the storm and all possible damage for insurance purposes. You will want to get a note paper and write down the date and time of the possible lightning strike, as well as your recollection of what happened. If you have a small video camera, like a flip camera, that can come in handy as well.

While this may sound trivial, it can be important for insurance adjusters to have when they review your claim. Remember, the burden of proof is yours.

2 – Check Your Thermostat

Go to your thermostat in the hall or whatever room it’s in. If it is an electric thermostat, make sure the light is lit and the thermostat has power. Turn it on, and set the temperature to trigger the fan unit to come on.

  • If the thermostat does not work, check your breaker.
  • If its a battery operated thermostat, replace the battery.
  • If all power issues have been checked and the thermostat still won’t work, call us.

3 – Check the Fan Unit

In split system cooling, you have an indoor fan and an outdoor condenser. After you made sure the thermostat works and is telling the ac system to start, you should hear the fan and/or outdoor condenser start up almost simultaneously. If the fan unit does not start:

  • Check the circuit breaker.
  • If you reset the breaker and it trips back off as soon as the system tries to start, call us.
  • If the power is on but the unit wont start up, it may be related to the outdoor unit.

4 – Check the Outdoor Condenser

In almost all cases, your outdoor condenser, whether air conditioner or heat pump, is likely to have 2 circuit breakers within a few feet of the unit. Follow the large gray colored electric whip to the panel and check the breakers inside.

  • If the breakers are in the On position, reset them by switching off, then back on.
  • If one or both immediately trip back off, call us immediately.

Other Considerations

Most Insurance companies will not pay for the entire system to be replaced, and want to focus on only the parts that failed. The main issue with this, is that 6 months down the road you could have another failure like a motor or compressor that was damaged during the storm months before, and the Insurance company will not pay twice.

While there is no way to fully test for these types of future breakdowns, when we repair an air conditioner or heat pump repair after a lightning strike, we run it through full load tests for long periods of time, thus minimizing the risk of failure due to the lightning.

Did Lightning Strike Near Your Air Conditioner?

Call Us Today for a Full System Inspection and Repair

Call Today

417-744-3515 | 417-839-7951

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