Book Emergency Service 24/7

Call Now

(204) 953-5700

Can a Power Surge Damage my Air Conditioner or Furnace?

  • News
  • Can a Power Surge Damage my Air Conditioner or Furnace?

28 Jun

Can a Power Surge Damage my Air Conditioner or Furnace?

As homeowners, we don't usually think much about whether your utility company is providing uninterrupted electrical current. Power surges can damage an air conditioner or furnace. Unlike a coffee maker or another small device, these can cost a lot of money to replace.

Power outages, brownouts, and blackouts can occur in any home and at any time. In fact, the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates these disturbances cost homeowners millions of dollars every year.

A power surge is when there's too much power coming in, not too little.

Your house has an alternator that regulates the voltage - you get a steady 120 volts coming in. Sometimes a much more powerful current blasts through the lines. This could be from a lightning strike making a sudden rise in power or a problem along the line somewhere. Now there's way too much power for the alternator in your home to regulate. Suddenly, everything in your house gets way more than 120 volts. That can cause big problems.

A power surge can effect anything that uses electricity. When it comes to big ticket items like an air conditioners or furnaces, it can end up costing a lot of money.

All electronics have capacitors. These regulate the amount of power appliances get. They can only handle so much power. Push too much, and they'll get fried. Once they stop working, so does whatever it's powering.

Electric current generates heat - the stronger the current, the more heat there is. Too much electricity into those components, and they get too hot. The circuit board or other parts of it can short out or break. When a power surge hits your electronics, it fries the capacitors and circuit board. Once that happens, whatever you have is now broken.

Most people plug their electronics into power strips surge protectors. They are made to block sudden increases in power beyond 120 volts. These keep your electronics safe. That doesn't do much for bigger appliances. like your air conditioner and furnace.

Even gas or oil furnaces require some electricity to function. If it gets too much at once, it can break just like any other device. The problem is, people usually don't protect them the same way.

How can I prevent power surge damage?

Preventing power surge damage is actually pretty easy. Here are a few things to do:
- Unplug electronic devices
- Use power strips
- Upgrade old wiring
- Invest in volt surge protectors

The cost to purchase and install a protector depends on the appliance. However, it's a small investment, especially when you compare that to what it would cost to replace a major HVAC appliance.

At 4 Seasons Heating, Cooling & Electrical, we are HVAC and electrical experts. Ask us about how to protect your heating and cooling investment agains power surges. Call us around the clock at (204) 953-5700.