Surge protectors commonly protect valuable electronics like computers and home entertainment systems, but have you thought about your central A/C? Today’s air conditioners incorporate vulnerable microprocessors and circuit boards, all of which can be damaged by a transient voltage surge originating from external causes or from sources within your house. The most expensive single A/C component, the system compressor, also incorporates circuitry that could be damaged and necessitate costly replacement or perhaps even an entirely new system.
Power surges have many causes. Lightning striking as far as a half-mile away can send a surge through utility wires that damages household circuits. Common disruptions on the utility grid such as brownouts and blackouts typically include voltage irregularities that can also zap sensitive A/C components. Power surges in indoor wiring can occur due to indoor sources, as well, such as defective appliances or short circuits.
Here are two ways surge protectors installed by a qualified professional electrician can shield your A/C from expensive damage and/or early replacement due to voltage surges:
At The Main Electrical Panel
A central air conditioner is hard-wired directly into a dedicated circuit. Therefore, the primary level of surge protection must be installed at the main electrical panel. A whole-house surge protector will defend all household circuit from voltage irregularities that occur on the utility power line where it enters the house. As an alternative to whole-house protection, a surge protector can be installed at the main panel only on the dedicated circuit that serves the A/C unit.
At The A/C Unit
Surge protection installed at the main electrical panel may not protect against voltage spikes triggered by indoor sources. For maximum defense, a second dedicated surge protector can be installed at the power disconnect switch that controls power to the outdoor A/C condenser unit.
For more information about a surge protector to defend your air conditioner against damaging voltage spikes, contact the professionals at Roth Heating & Cooling.