As Florida residents we live in the lightning capital of the United States, each year the Sunshine State is hit with 1.5 million lighting strikes. With such a high density of lightning around us it is a wonder why we are not the surge protector capital of the United States. One of the best investments you can make for your high priced, high tech items is a surge protector. A good rule of thumb to follow: if the appliance you’re trying to protect cost more than the surge protector itself you should be protecting it. So be sure that your refrigerator, HD TV, Computer, and yes… of course… your AC Unit are being protected. As a metal box that sits outside your home with quite a bit of power running through it, your HVAC Unit is a magnet for lightning. Also keep in mind that the national average for a new air conditioner is $6,500.00, I’d prefer to buy the $271.00 surge protector. These devices are not guaranteed to protect your appliances in all situations, as we know we cannot control or predict the weather, however there is a good chance that with a strong enough power increase the surge protector will get damaged instead of the appliance it is protecting.
A surge is a spike of power, above the norm, that last for at least three nano seconds. When lightning strikes nearby it can produce 100,000 amps into your neighborhood. A surge protector will detect that increase in power and redirect it to the ground where it will disappear. Without a surge protector that sudden increase in power is going to run through your machine causing damage, if not frying the whole AC Unit all together. While it is true that you’re HVAC Unit can take a smaller surge or two it is not good for the unit to remain unguarded and will eventually result in a shorter lifespan of the air conditioner. Picture yourself running a marathon, much like your AC unit does during the summer months, now imagine every so often someone comes along and sucker punches you. Maybe the first couple of times you’ll take the punch and keep running but eventually those sucker punches are going to pull you out of the race for good. Don’t let your air conditioner continue to take sucker punches that these power surges are producing or you won’t be cool for long. Also keep in mind that as a natural part of being a machine that works off of electricity it will receive little jolts of high power periodically depending on your power provider, while these are by far less harmful they can, over time, result in the AC Unit not functioning at its full capacity.
Also be sure of a few things when you do purchase a surge protector, just like your AC unit it must be properly installed and registered with the manufacturer to ensure the warranty and coverage is in-tact. Always read the fine print to understand exactly what the surge protector will cover as well as what happens when a surge does get through to your appliances and what type of insurance you’ll have. Some power companies, like FPL, have surge protector programs that are great, again if you read the fine print. Make sure that you understand that although FPL installs a device on your home you must also have individual surge protectors on each appliance you’d like covered under the program. If not the insurance that FPL is offering could be null and void.
Each time your AC Service Provider is out to your home it should be an educational experience, be sure you are asking questions and they are explaining what they are doing and why. They should be able to explain to you how your AC Unit is working and your options for surge protection. At And Cooling Service we recommend a Whole House Surge Protector however if that is not within your means we are happy to work with you in finding a solutions that works for both you and your pocketbook.