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29 Sep 2023

Author: Jeff O'Hara

Most of the important electronic devices in our home are plugged into surge protectors. We rely on surge protectors to keep electronic devices from being damaged by an unexpected voltage spike or repeated on-off power cycles typical during severe storms. Our computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets, alarm clocks, and even our adjustable beds all operate with the added protection that a surge protector provides. 

What if we told you there was one appliance that could benefit significantly from an electrical surge protector? One that your family relies on every day for comfort and convenience. One that can cost thousands of dollars if it were to be damaged by repeated power issues.

I’ll end the suspense. 

It’s your HVAC System.

Most homeowners wouldn’t even stop to think about the need for additional surge protection on their HVAC system, assuming that the circuit breakers are sufficient protection. Under normal conditions, circuit breakers are the best frontline defense against dangerous power surges, but fluctuating power levels and repeated power cycling sometimes aren’t enough to trip your HVAC breakers.

What Kind of Damage Can Power Surges Do to My HVAC System? 

Power surges can wreak havoc on HVAC systems, creating damaging effects that can lead to costly repairs or even premature equipment failure. One of the most common forms of damage is electrical component degradation. During a power surge, the excessive voltage can overwhelm sensitive electrical components within the HVAC system, such as:

  • circuit boards
  • control panels
  • capacitors

These components may become overheated during a surge, damaging them and resulting in erratic system behavior, malfunctioning temperature control, or even complete system shutdowns. In some cases, the damage may not be immediately apparent but can gradually worsen, leading to escalating repair costs and reduced system efficiency.

This damage creates discomfort for your family, increases energy consumption, and elevates utility bills. In the worst-case scenario, power surges can result in the complete replacement of HVAC components or the entire system. This significant expense can be avoided by installing surge protection devices designed to shield HVAC systems from electrical surges.

What is an HVAC Surge Protector? 

A hard-wired HVAC surge protector is a robust electrical device that protects your HVAC system from potentially damaging voltage surges and spikes. Unlike plug-in surge protectors that safeguard individual outlets or devices, a hard-wired surge protector is installed at your home’s main electrical panel where electrical service enters the house. This strategic placement provides comprehensive surge protection for all electrical circuits related to your HVAC system.

The key feature of a hard-wired HVAC surge protector is its ability to divert excess voltage safely away from sensitive HVAC components. When a voltage surge occurs, the surge protector detects and redirects the extra energy through a low-resistance pathway, usually grounding it to the earth. This prevents the excess power from reaching the HVAC system, protecting critical components like control boards, motors, and compressors from damage. 

Is It Necessary to Install an HVAC Surge Protector? 

Installing a surge protector for your HVAC system is a prudent step to protect your investment and ensure the reliability of your HVAC equipment. Voltage surges from lightning strikes, power grid fluctuations, or other power disturbances pose a real threat to the sensitive electrical components within your HVAC system. 

Without proper protection, these surges can lead to costly damage, including malfunctioning or completely failing critical components. Repairing these HVAC components can be expensive, disruptive, and inconvenient, particularly when you depend on your HVAC system for year-round comfort.

Do I Need an HVAC Surge Protector if I Have Whole-House Surge Protection? 

The decision to install an HVAC surge protector, in addition to a whole-house surge protector, depends on your specific circumstances and your level of concern about protecting your HVAC system from voltage surges. Ultimately, having a whole-house surge protector and an HVAC surge protector is not redundant; it provides a comprehensive approach to protecting your valuable electronic equipment. 

While a whole-house surge protector helps safeguard all electrical devices in your home, including your HVAC system, a dedicated surge protector for your HVAC equipment offers more targeted protection for the specific components in your HVAC system. If you’re in doubt or concerned about the risk of power surges affecting your HVAC system, consulting with a qualified HVAC technician can help you make an informed decision. 

How Complicated is it to Install an HVAC Surge Protector?

First, a qualified HVAC technician will assess your HVAC system and electrical panel to determine the most suitable location for the surge protector. Common installation points include the electrical panel itself or near the HVAC equipment.

Once the installation location is chosen, the surge protector is connected to the electrical system. This may involve hardwiring the surge protector directly into the electrical panel or using a plug-in model that connects to a dedicated electrical outlet. Proper grounding is essential to ensure that excess voltage is safely directed away from your HVAC system.

After installation, the surge protector is tested to confirm its functioning correctly. Regular maintenance and periodic inspections by a professional technician help ensure that the surge protector continues to operate effectively, offering ongoing protection to your HVAC system.

Overall, the process of installing an HVAC system surge protector is a specialized task best entrusted to trained professionals who can assess your system’s unique requirements and ensure the device is correctly configured to provide optimal protection.

Choose Nick’s Air Conditioning to Protect an Important Investment.

In the quest for safeguarding your HVAC system against the unpredictable nature of power surges, there’s no better choice than Nick’s Air Conditioning. As a trusted name in the HVAC industry, we pride ourselves on providing top-notch solutions, prioritizing your comfort, safety, and peace of mind. 

Regarding HVAC surge protectors, Nick’s goes above and beyond to offer you the best options, including those tailored to your needs. Our experienced technicians are well-versed in installing and maintaining HVAC surge protection devices, ensuring that your HVAC system receives the highest level of care and protection.

By choosing Nick’s Air Conditioning, you’re not just selecting a service; you’re opting for a commitment to excellence in HVAC protection. Don’t wait for the next power surge to put your HVAC system at risk. Contact us today, and let us provide you with the peace of mind that comes with superior surge protection. Your comfort and the longevity of your HVAC investment are our top priorities, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

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