While some parts of the country prepare for ice and snow, we here in Jacksonville are hanging tight while battling tropical thunderstorms. A little bit of rough rain isn’t necessarily a big deal, but what comes with it can be – particularly for HVAC units. Thunderstorms often bring lightning strikes to our area and those bolts can wreak havoc on heating and air conditioning units.
When lightning zaps an electrical source, it can send the standard voltage into high stratosphere. This pushes the voltage to spike beyond its capacity, causing power surges that can easily short an HVAC unit. While you may not be able to stop the forces of nature, there are steps you can take to help prevent or minimize lightning damage.
Install Surge Protectors
One of the simplest things you can do is to install surge protectors at crucial spots in the electrical wiring system. This not only helps to protect your HVAC unit, it may also prevent or minimize damage for other major electrical outfits on your property.
Check the Grounding System
Making sure your electrical system is properly grounded is the first step toward preventing lightning from damaging your HVAC unit. Search for any signs of wear-and-tear, such as corrosion. Look around for any loose wiring or threads. If you can, try to detect any wayward surging in the overall system. If you need help, a qualified electrical contractor can do it for you.
Watch Those Bonds and Routing
Effective wiring systems operate more smoothly when its grounding electrodes are properly bonded. Think of it as a strategic map; the more secure the connecting electrodes are, the better your wiring system will be grounded and protected against power surges.
Electrodes routed through different wiring paths may not work together to establish proper grounding and solid grounding is was helps prevent power surges. If there is faulty or insecure electrode bonding, it can leave your HVAC unit wide open to lightning-based damage. It is not unusual to find faulty electrode connections in a wiring system either. That’s part of why it is so important to check these connections or have a professional do it for you.
Check Cable Connections Throughout the Property
If you have a garage or another space that utilizes the same cable connection as the main property, it could provide an inconvenient pathway for a power surge to travel over there and do some damage. Cables are often insulated with conductive material and this conductivity is also a highway for higher-than-average voltage. Make sure any connective cables are surge-resistant. If not, look into having the cables modified to prevent any surges from going haywire and hitching a ride to other spaces.
Schedule an Inspection
Regular maintenance is also preventative maintenance. So, give some serious consideration to scheduling an annual electrical inspection. Tropical storms aren’t particularly predictable, but you probably have a solid idea of when hurricane season is on the way. Reach out to a qualified company and have them look things to help keep lightning damage at bay.
Looking to learn more about how to protect your HVAC unit against lightning strikes and other types of natural damage? Get in touch with us at Snyder Heating and Air Conditioning. We are dedicated to keeping things comfortable for our neighbors in the Jacksonville area. Remember, one of the best ways to protect your heating and air conditioning is to be prepared. Give us a call and we will help make sure your HVAC unit runs smoothly and stays that way.