Should You Run Your Air Conditioner During a Thunderstorm?


Living in North Carolina, thunderstorms are a pretty regular occurrence from April through October, but especially in the summer. The temperature skyrockets into the 90s, it’s incredibly muggy, and those two factors lead to thunderstorms forming. We get a deluge for a short period of time, and then 20 minutes after the storm has passed, it’s hotter and more humid than it was before it rained!

Summer storms are generally quick, so it’s no big deal to leave your air conditioner running during a thunderstorm, right? Well…not exactly. Our AC repair company in Garner is going to walk through when and why you should switch off your air conditioner when the weather turns bad.

Turn Off Your AC During a Thunderstorm

If you notice the sky is getting dark or you hear thunder, it’s a good idea to go ahead and shut off the system until the storm passes. Even though it’s not likely that your house will be struck by lightning (in fact, it’s less than a 1 percent chance!), a strike could literally destroy your air conditioner.

We’re not exaggerating either – one lightning bolt can contain more than one billion volts of electricity and exceed 20,000 degrees Celsius – that’s hotter than the sun! If this hits your home, a surge protector can’t defend against that, so if your air conditioner is on during a storm, the electrical circuits within the system will most likely be severely damaged. If this happens, most likely, you’re looking at having to have the unit replaced because repairing these damaged circuits is often impossible.

If you are often away from home or at work during storms, it may be a good idea to invest in a smart thermostat that lets you turn the system off using your smartphone!

Staying Cool During a Storm

We know you don’t want your home to get hot and stuffy during a storm, and turning off the system can be a hassle. However, a brief period of discomfort is generally much better than having to replace your air conditioner, and as soon as lightning has passed, you can turn your system back on. During the storm itself, the air temperature drops considerably, so consider opening the windows and placing a box fan to pull cooled air from outdoors inside until the storm passes.

Running the Air Conditioner During Heavy Rain

If it’s unsafe to run the AC during a thunderstorm, what about a torrential rain? It’s actually perfectly fine to keep your system going during heavy rain for the most part. However, you should check to make sure the area around the outdoor unit isn’t prone to flooding or standing water. If the unit does get flooded due to standing water, turn it off immediately at your house’s electrical panel and have it inspected by an air conditioner repair service before turning it back on.

Contact Our AC Repair Company in Garner

Whether your air conditioner was damaged in a storm or you simply want to have seasonal maintenance performed to make sure your system is ready to take on the summer months, we can help! Contact our AC repair company today at 919-772-2759 or fill out the contact form below to schedule service!

Contact Our Heating and Air Conditioning Repair Company Today!

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