Power surges dangerous for air conditioners

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Reported by: Clay Loney
Updated: 7/26/2013 2:36 pm Published: 7/26/2013 1:29 pm

As the power is slowly restored a number of people are finding their lights turned on but not the air-conditioning.

With the storm came power surges, which could fry the electronics in many a/c units.

FOX23's Clay Loney found even if your air conditioner is running right now that doesn't necessarily mean you're in the clear.

"You might get a few warning signs that your power will come on and go off and that's when people will start unplugging things from the wall," said Wade Sewell, with Riverside Heat and Air.

When's the last time you unplugged your air conditioner?

Sewell said you're taking a big risk if you don't have a surge protector.

There are protectors specifically made to protect air conditioner units from power surges that can not only fry electronics, but seriously damage the unit.

Lightning could hit the other end of the neighborhood.

"Well, that sends a quick power surge through that whole block," said Sewell.

If your air conditioner is running at the time, unprotected, you could be in trouble.

Turns out a weak power surge can damage the capacitor in the unit. A damaged capacitor can damage the compressor over time. That costs a lot of money.

Sewell suggested if you have any electronics in the house that took a hit, you want to make sure you have a technician check out the air conditioner unit.

Another way to protect a/c units during storms is to turn it off at the thermostat.

If your air conditioner was fried by a power surge call your insurance agent. Most policies cover the damage.

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