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Did Lightening Strike Your HVAC System?

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

Created by Privette Heating & Air Conditioning Admin


Thunderstorms can occur at any time; especially in the Spring. In addition to the heavy rain and loud claps of thunder, the most frightening part of any thunderstorm is the threat that lightning could strike your home, thus affecting your electrical wiring and electrical systems which includes your HVAC system.


If your HVAC system isn't working after a thunderstorm, more likely than not, the lightning strike is generally not what causes the damage to your HVAC system. What tends to cause damage to your HVAC system is the power surge that follows the lightning strike. The most common types of damage that happen to your HVAC system during a thunderstorm are:

  1. Damaged Capacitors

  2. Blown Wires

  3. Damaged Compressors

  4. Blown Fuses

  5. Thermostat Disconnects from HVAC Systems

If your HVAC system is struck by lightning or is damaged by a power surge, it is imperative that you have the system fully inspected by a professional as quickly as possible to see if there is any damage. While the technician is performing the inspection, it is important that you ask them to take pictures or you take pictures of the damage to the system and to thoroughly document all of their findings in their notes. the reason is in case you need to submit an insurance claim. Having pictures and detailed notes will help provide any evidence that may be necessary with the insurance and settlement decision.


When lightning damages your HVAC system, there are often very distinct signs to look out for to help distinguish damage from lightning versus damage from standard wear and tear.

  • Power Surge Damage: Wires will often show signs of burning or overheating. Several parts of the HVAC system will be damaged.

  • Lightning Damage: Traces of singeing on the side of the house or on the outdoor HVAC equipment. Several parts of the outdoor HVAC system will be damaged.

While there is no way to prevent lightning from striking your home, there are several preventative measures that you can take to help minimize the odds of sustaining damage to your HVAC system during or after a thunderstorm:

  1. When a thunderstorm is predicted to pass through your area, turn off your HVAC system via the thermostat. As an extra precaution, turn off the electric circuit to the entire HVAC system.

  2. Purchase and use specific surge protectors to connect your HVAC system to any electrical outlets.

  3. If your area is known for experiencing power failures, consider investing in a back-up generator.

If you experience a situation where your HVAC system has been damaged by a lightning strike or a power surge, contact us at Privette Heating & Air Conditioning. You can reach us by phone, 903-797-2678, or by filling out the contact us form on the website.


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