Tag Archives: monsoon

Erik in front of building high res July 2014

How to protect AC unit during monsoons

Is your air conditioner ready for the dust storms, torrential downpours, thunder and lightning that is monsoon season? When an air conditioning system stops working during an Arizona summer, it is the worst and it can be very costly to repair or replace. Preventative maintenance is key to keeping you cool in the hot summer months.

“We live in an area where the nature is acute all the time, so we are always susceptible to failures,” said Erik Bryan, owner of Precision Air and Heating. “When you add a monsoon, it just amplifies the fact we are in a critical climate in the desert.”

Monsoons are a fact of life in the valley, but they do not have to be disastrous. The biggest threat to an air conditioning unit during monsoon season, according to Bryan, is the humidity and electrical surges from the lightning. Make sure your central air conditioner is protected from those strikes and power surges with a surge protector to stay safe and cool during the season. A surge protector for an air conditioner can be insurance for your unit.

Lightning does not have to hit a home directly to cause a power surge. A lightning strike within a half-mile of a home can damage the air conditioner. Each strike delivers up to 20,000 volts of electricity through a home, which is more than enough to take out a central air unit.

“We use power strips at home for our computers to prevent a spike of electricity from damaging components inside,” Bryan said. “An air conditioner is no different.”

It can be crucial for those living in the valley to make sure that their systems are protected from the monsoons that flow into Arizona, but do not forget about making sure everything is running smoothly with your heater when the cooler months arrive.

Preventative maintenance is still essential, but a much bigger concern exists for people who have gas heat to make sure everything is checked so there are no leaks.

“Carbon monoxide asphyxiation is a very very real thing, it is a silent killer. We lose people ever year who turn their heaters on without getting them checked,” stated Bryan.

If the temperature is not just right, being comfortable is very out of reach. Air conditioning is one thing you should not take your chances with, so do not let monsoon season get in the way.

Phoenix Dust Storm 2011 Video Footage

2013 Monsoon Safety Reminders Offered by SRP

The average starting date of the monsoon is this week, according to the National Weather Service. Mother Nature is taking notice as meteorologists are predicting “high humidity, cloudy skies and possible thunderstorms for the Valley this week.” As the monsoon envelops the Valley from July to September, being prepared and aware are essential for safety.

SRP offers Valley residents these summer safety tips:

• Be sure to have flashlights, a battery-operated radio and a phone readily accessible in case of a power outage.
• Maintain a first-aid kit that includes your family’s prescription medications. Make sure items     in the first-aid kit are in usable condition.
• Try to remain indoors during a storm.
• If caught outdoors, stay at least 100 feet from any downed power line.
• Never try to help someone trapped by a power line.  The line could be energized and endanger your own safety.  Instead, immediately call 911 for help.  Then call SRP’s emergency number, (602) 236-8811, to report the incident.
• If a power line hits your car while you are in it, stay inside the car until professional help arrives.
• If your vehicle catches fire and you must leave it, avoid making contact with the vehicle and the ground at the same time.  Jump from the vehicle, landing with both feet together.  Shuffle or hop away, keeping both feet in contact with each other until you are at least 100 feet from the vehicle.  This may avoid making your body a ground path between energized and grounded areas or objects.
• Do not shower during a storm.  Lightning can travel through pipes.
• Do not swim during a storm.  Lightning can strike bodies of water.
• Lightning can travel through electric lines and damage electronic equipment.  When practical, unplug the power cords to all electronic equipment to provide total protection from lightning-induced damage.
• To check for “real-time” updates during a power outage, customers can go to www.srpnet.com.  Customers then can click on the “power outage map” link and scroll over the yellow pushpins to get information about affected areas, number of people impacted and expected time of repair.  (Valley resident also can access the outage map from a smart phone or tablet.)
• To be alerted via email or text when your home is affected by an outage, customers can sign up for a notification on My Account. To learn more, visit www.srpnet.com and search “My Account.”

For more tips, visit www.srpnet.com/safety/storm. SRP routinely posts updates and outage information on Twitter and Facebook during major storms. To get connected, follow @SRPconnect on Twitter or “like” SRP’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/srpconnect. During a power outage, SRP customer service representatives can be reached 24 hours a day at (602) 236-8888.