The Shocking Truth About Surge Protection and Your Air Conditioner

What did the surge protector say to the lightning bolt? “I’m shocked by your destructive behavior. Until you learn how to conduct yourself properly – you’re grounded!”

When it comes to electricity, where it comes from and how it works, most Americans are somewhat “unenlightened.” Often misunderstood, electrical power is so intricately woven into the fabric of our lives, most people only think about it when it’s not there, like when a power outage occurs. Utility companies in the United States generally do an excellent job of keeping the power flowing and the lights on. However, there are numerous causes for occasional power surges which can do damage to home appliances and knock your air conditioning unit out of service. With summer storms just a few months away, it’s a good idea to consider the benefits of installing a surge protector to shield your air conditioner from the dangerous effects of power fluctuations.

When Lightning Strikes

Did you know lighting strikes the earth 100 times per second? That adds up to over eight million times per day. Phoenix residents are familiar with spectacular displays of lightning, especially during the monsoon season. Located in Tucson, the NLDN (National Lightning Detection Network) monitors all lightning strikes in the continental United States and reports that Arizona averages over 600,000 strikes per year. Lightning is a significant cause of power surges due to the fact that one bolt of lightning can generate over 100 million volts of electricity. That kind of voltage can do a tremendous amount of damage and fry your air conditioning unit in a matter of seconds. A surge protector on your HVAC unit will prevent damage to your components and channel the lightning bolt into the ground.

There’s also more to be concerned about when it comes to electrical surges than lightning. Extreme power usage throughout the Valley of the Sun during summer heatwaves can cause power dips on the grid and resulting power surges when power goes off and back on.

It Will Never Happen to Me

Phoenix television stations do a great job of reporting the weather. Whenever we see dramatic footage of lightning bolts hitting trees or power lines during a thunderstorm, we always think, “That’ll never happen to me.” Hopefully, you never will experience lightning closeup, and your home will go untouched for as long as you live there. However, the relatively low cost of a surge protection unit can provide peace of mind for you and your family for years to come.

To learn more about surge protection to protect your HVAC system, call Bruce’s Air Conditioning & Heating at 480-968-5652.