Early summer weather usually includes severe thunderstorms and lately we have experienced quite a number of them. In turn our phones are ringing with no cool calls.

Lightning and power outages are the two things storms produce that can affect your heating and air conditioning system. How should you deal with these effects?

If you can hear thunder, chances are a storm is within 10 miles of your home. So, if you are home and know a severe storm is on its way, try to turn your system off before the storm arrives. This helps to isolate the air conditioning components from the effects of voltage spikes that occur when the electric power from the street goes on and off. A running air conditioner might also attract lightning, so to be safe, shut it off before the storm arrives. Since the average insurance claim after a lightning strike is $5000.00, why not do what you can to protect your system. Remember even if you have a brand new system, your manufacturers warranty will not cover lightning strikes so be sure and get it turned off if you can.

But what should you do if after the storm your system does not work? Start at the thermostat and turn the system to off, wait a few minutes and try it again. Still nothing, go to the furnace and cycle off the main power switch on the furnace. This usually looks like a typical wall switch and is usually mounted right on the furnace itself. Leave it off for a few minutes, and then turn it back on. If your indoor fan is blowing but the outdoor air conditioner is not running, take a look in your fuse box and try to locate the air conditioning breaker. Hopefully the breaker is marked. If you can find it, push it firmly to the off position and then back on. Keep in mind that some systems take up to five minutes to start after power is interrupted so be patient.

If the system is now running, you may want to check that no sticks or branches have fallen on the air conditioner and that the area around it is clear of any storm debris.

As always, give us a call for free advice if you have questions. We are here for you.