Have you ever considered the chance that lightning could accidentally harm your window air conditioner during a storm?
Yes, there is a chance that lightning will strike your window air conditioner, particularly if you live in an elevated area like a building or the top of a mountain. However, since lightning strikes are a very uncommon occurrence, the likelihood of this actually occurring is quite low; hence, it is safe to continue using your air conditioner even while thunderstorms are present.
Are you curious to know if lightning can strike your window air conditioner? Continue reading this article since we also address several additional thought-provoking issues, such as whether it is safe to use devices during a storm and how power spikes can affect your air conditioner. At the conclusion of this post, we’ll also make some suggestions for educational themes.
During a lightning storm, should I turn off my window air conditioner?
Even while it is generally safe to keep running your air conditioner during a thunderstorm and there is little danger that lightning would strike it, it is nevertheless possible.
The biggest worry of many people is fire, especially if a lightning bolt strikes your window air conditioner directly. A rapid electrical surge won’t harm an air conditioner because it is electrically insulated, so don’t worry. Additionally, the refrigerant inside the device is non-explosive and non-flammable.
But if lightning really does hit, a power surge might occur. In the worst instance, this might entirely destroy the circuitry of the item, fry it, and harm it. This might be very expensive, especially if the strike damages your AC’s connector and power port. This harms both your device and the port socket into which it is plugged.
Because of the high temperatures during the day, we typically use an air conditioner to cool down a heated room, and lightning storms frequently happen at night. Usually, rain falls before the beginning of a thunderstorm, which helps to lower the temperature. So, if you want to be extra cautious, you can unplug your air conditioner during a storm.
Living in an elevated area, close to a tall tree or electrical pole, particularly if your home’s wiring passes through it, increases your risk of being struck by lightning. Therefore, if a lightning storm ever comes your way, these are some things you might need to think about and be aware of.
Are other electronics safe to use during a lightning storm?
Using other electronics during a lightning storm is generally safe. Electricity can be turned off during exceptionally powerful storms, especially if the electric supplies are also impacted.
Up to 120 million lightning bolts can be charged at once, considerably beyond the capacity of any transformer. You will typically suffer intermittent electricity during really intense storms when electrical systems are shut down to either contain and repair any damage caused by lightning or to prevent harm from occurring.
What occurs if a lightning strike hits an AC unit?
There are several potential outcomes when the unfavorable occurs and lightning strikes your air conditioning machine. The electrical system of your entire home may be severely harmed if lightning struck your air conditioning equipment directly.
Other plugged-in devices may overload as well, leading to burned plugs and sockets. The complete power to your home may be lost due to the unexpected energy surge, which may require repairs. There is a potential that your electric post, which is higher and nearby, will be hit as well. This may result in the post falling over.
However, as we’ve already demonstrated, the likelihood that this will occur is quite minimal, so you need not worry. Additionally, there are several nifty tricks and hacks that you may use to stop this from happening to you.
One of them is the installation of conductors, ground rods, lightning rods, etc. These rods will provide lightning with a different route, which could reduce the charge or, in some situations, prevent lightning from stunning your air conditioner altogether. The electrical system throughout your entire home will benefit from this as well.
It is important to note that these safeguards may not always work to stop electricity surges and overloads, especially if lightning strikes your home directly. Therefore, relying only on such systems carries dangers, albeit minimal ones. You are always free to choose whether to turn off any appliances during the storm.
Is running the AC while it’s raining okay?
Yes, running your air conditioner while it’s raining outside is entirely safe. The exposed portion of the air conditioner that is outdoors is built to endure the elements. Unless broken by force, the sensitive motors and wires are impervious to water penetration because they are entirely enclosed in waterproof shells.
Your air conditioner’s metal case resists rust even when exposed to the weather, so whether it’s sunny, rainy, or even light snowing, it won’t affect how well it works.
Typically, if you live in an area with extreme weather, your user’s manual will explain whether or not your air conditioner needs any kind of protection. These are more suited for winter, as some manufactures advise covering your air conditioner with plywood or another sort of approved covering.
This is due to the fact that, unless it is a dual system that can also serve as a heater, you won’t often be utilizing the unit during the winter because the weather is already chilly.
If you don’t use your AC for the whole of the winter season, which can extend for months, some parts may freeze owing to the freezing temperatures, resulting in damage. As a result, your unit can become loaded up and sustain damage that could impair its functionality.
Why do my lights flicker when the air conditioner starts up?
Modern air conditioners and other high-power-drawing electrical appliances need a lot of power to start up.
Because of this, you could occasionally notice that your light dims or flickers when the air conditioner is turned up, especially if there are multiple electrical devices plugged in at once that require power to function.
This is very normal, so you shouldn’t worry. As electricity is diverted by your system, here is how the electrical reaction appears. Our homes can only receive the maximum quantity of electricity determined by power grids that is required to run a residential property. Power fluctuations are therefore frequent.
This, however, is not always the case. In some cases, damage to your home’s wiring can result in flickering or dimming of the lights. This can be caused by a variety of issues, including loose or damaged wires, damaged capacitors, and overloaded circuits.
Several prompt indicators include:
- when turning on your AC unit, lights that come on and go off swiftly
- As soon as the AC turns on, the lights start to dim considerably and stay that way.
- circuit breakers trip
- or buzzing noises when the air conditioner is running are all possible indications that your electrical system needs repair.
We strongly advise asking for professional assistance right away if you are having such problems because they may result in issues like sparking wires, which pose a serious fire risk.
Additionally, we caution against performing DIY repairs, especially if you lack the necessary skills or understanding. An average of 1,000 fatalities per year in the US are caused by electrical injuries. Because of this, we should exercise caution when handling electrical issues in our homes, especially if there are kids present.
Should you invest in HVAC surge protectors?
Surge protectors may be a bit pricy; their prices range from $250 to $300, and installation costs may add another $100, depending on where you live.
However, because it is significantly less expensive than a brand-new HVAC system, this is regarded as an investment. A surge protector’s primary function is to safeguard your HVAC system from sudden charges that could overwhelm and harm it. Having one is therefore entirely worthwhile if you want to save money over the long term.
Your window-style air conditioner could theoretically be struck by lightning, but the likelihood of this happening is quite slim. Even during a lightning storm, you can safely use your home appliances, but during particularly powerful ones, power systems will eventually cut the electricity. You don’t need to be concerned because your AC can operate in any weather and can survive the elements even if some of it is outside.