Planning to use your AC in a storm? Yes, this question isn’t frequently asked, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. Many people don’t even think twice about their air conditioner or it’s upkeep unless it’s stopped working, but there are many reasons to start asking the question. Find out how to care for an air conditioning unit during a thunderstorm and what to do if you’re AC stops working due to storm-related disasters.

Risks of using air conditioners during thunderstorms

The risk of a home and air conditioner getting struck by lightning is less than one percent. Now, one percent may not seem like a lot on paper, but think it about. One percent is one in every hundred air conditioners. The median number of homes in an average US neighborhood is about fifty. So one home in every two neighborhoods is probably going to need to contact air conditioning repair services. Statistically, a home in either you or your friend’s neighborhood will get struck by lightning and the risk increases in areas prone to thunderstorms. Hits a little too close to home, doesn’t it?

Turning the AC off during a storm sounds like too much hassle? Think again

But, there’s a simple solution. Just turn off your AC during a thunderstorm. A lightning bolt is thirty-six thousand degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the equivalent of trying to hook up an AC unit on the Sun. It’s not hard to imagine what would happen to the poor machine. The circuits will literally melt, and that’s what happens when an air conditioner is struck by lightning. It may seem like a hassle putting one extra item on your long list of to-dos, but it’s way better than the alternative: frying what’s supposed to be the central cooling system. To give you an idea of the bigger hassle you’ll face if your AC gets struck by lightning, try coming up with a figure anywhere between three-thousand and five-thousand dollars. You can find more information about the cost of an AC here.

What to do if you’re air conditioner gets struck by lightning

If your home was the unlucky one percent here’s what to do. First, contact a repair service. Servicemen will come on-site to look at the air conditioning unit and determine if it can be repaired. If not, they should come up with an estimate for a new unit. It’s also a good idea to have seasonal maintenance performed on an AC unit to make sure everything is in good working condition. A little service fee every spring or summer is a lot cheaper than those big repairs that result from letting the machine deteriorate.

Things to think about

The major takeaway here is to turn the AC off during a storm. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and it’s not hard to come up with better ways to spend three to five thousand dollars. With the help of a smart thermostat, turning off an air conditioner during a thunderstorm is as easy as a click of a button. Think about how many times you check your phone in a day, the hassle of turning it off should take less than two seconds with the gains of potentially saving you thousands of dollars in repairs. Plus, there’s the added benefit of reducing the energy bill by not running the AC while no one’s in the house. People often don’t think about the potential damages caused by thunderstorms, but luckily the precautions to prevent damage are quick and easy.