At some point or another, most people have experienced a power surge in their homes. Sometimes, it’s pretty minor — maybe you just notice the lights slightly dimming, or have to deal with the annoyance of your Internet router resetting. Other times, they can damage your appliances — and even become a fire hazard.
If you’ve recently experienced a power surge and now your air conditioner won’t turn back on, it could be due to a simple reason, such as a tripped circuit breaker. Or, in a worst-case scenario, it may be due to electrical damage.
How can a power surge damage my air conditioner?
Households in the United States receive about 120 volts of electric power. Because of this, AC manufacturers design their units to handle up to that amount of electricity. That said, several factors may cause the voltage to spike — such as lightning or running too many high-power appliances at once. In rare circumstances, the surge can be the result of the electric company’s faulty equipment.
If the surge is strong enough, it can burn an air conditioner’s capacitor, wires, or compressors. And, depending on what caused the surge, it may or may not be covered by the AC manufacturer’s warranty. Since lightning can cause the most damaging electric surges, this specific reason is not covered by warranty — which can be an issue in Florida.
How to Tell if There’s Been a Power Surge
Sometimes, power surges occur when no one’s home. In addition to your AC being shut off when you return, telltale signs include:
- Flashing digital clocks
- Tripped circuit breakers
- Buzzing outlets
- Hot outlets
- Failing electrical devices
If your home frequently experiences power surges, it would be a good idea to purchase a surge arrester. They are specifically designed to protect higher-voltage appliances from external power surges — such as those caused by storms, natural disasters, or a malfunction from the power company’s equipment. Do keep in mind that they won’t protect your AC from surges due to running too many appliances at once.
How to Reset Your Air Conditioner After a Power Surge
- Shut off the thermostat.
- Go to the circuit breaker panel, and set the switch to off before setting it back to on.
- Wait half an hour before turning the AC back on to allow the system’s internal circuit breaker to reset.
- Once the 30 minutes have passed, turn the thermostat back on. If there was no electrical damage, the unit will start running immediately.
- If the circuit breaker keeps tripping repeatedly, it’s trying to protect your home from a potential fire. Do not attempt to repeat the process again.
AC Service in Brevard County
At Colman Air, we understand that sometimes AC issues happen during the most inconvenient times. This is why we have a 24/7 AC emergency line. Call us if you need assistance ASAP, or to schedule routine HVAC maintenance.
24-HR Emergency Service: (321) 360-7566