Here in San Francisco, our residents are no stranger to severe storms and strong winds. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the possibility of wind and rain damage to your home. Lightning damage is also a serious concern, especially when lightning hits a power line in your neighborhood. When this happens, it can create a power surge that can cut off the power in your area and shut down your appliances.
Your air conditioning system is just one of several appliances that can be unexpectedly affected by a power outage. It’s important to know how to properly reset the circuit breaker and restart your unit before power is restored in your area. Schmitt explains what you need to do below:
Set the thermostat to “Off”. When you set your thermostat to “off”, it will stop “asking” your AC unit for cooling until you reset both the internal and external breakers. If yours is battery operated, putting in new batteries may also work. However, the next step is important if you don’t have a battery-operated thermostat.
Reset your circuit breaker. A power surge from the lightning strike will overload your air conditioner’s circuit and cause the breaker to “trip.” This will need to be reset, so after setting your thermostat to “off”, you need to do the same thing at the circuit breaker. It’s usually found in the garage, laundry room, basement or an exterior part of your house. Once you find it, look for a label that says something like “air conditioner” or “HVAC”. Set this one to “off”.
After a power surge, your unit will need some time to reset its internal circuit breaker. Professional heating and cooling technicians recommend waiting for at least half an hour for the internal breaker in your unit to reset. Just make sure that your thermostat is still set to “off” at this time. Otherwise, it won’t reset properly.
Restart your air conditioning system. After 30 minutes have passed, turn your air conditioner back on at the thermostat. If nothing was damaged after the power surge, it should turn back on successfully. Make sure to set the temperature at least five degrees below room temperature so that it can call for cooling from your air conditioner!
If you think any of these steps didn’t help, call in an HVAC service technician to take a closer look at your unit. Call Schmitt today at (415) 689-7849 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation! We serve homeowners in San Francisco and the neighboring areas.