Does my Air Conditioning and Heating system need surge protection?

This is a question many of our clients ask when we suggest surge protection. It seems weird to me that people aren’t asking us, we have to suggest it. Just think about your TV or a computer. Almost everyone uses a power strip with a surge protector. As a whole, people use surge protectors for many different appliances in their homes. Now think about the cost of those appliances versus the cost of a new HVAC system or extensive repair. People will protect a $1500 television or $600 computer, but not their air conditioning system? No manufactures of ANY product warranty power surges. A power surge or “flicker” is beyond their control. They will not warranty outside factor that damages their product, which is understandable.

About two years ago we had a storm here in McKinney, TX. Being the owner of Harris Air Services, I have some pretty high end Trane systems installed to heat and cool my house. We were having some storms and power flickers one evening. At one point the power went out for several minutes. When it came back on, my downstairs thermostat was not working. This particular thermostat is a communicating control (basically a small computer) and it was damaged by the storm. After replacing the thermostat control, I learned the furnace and the outdoor unit also needed some new parts as well. Stupidly, guess who did not have surge protectors installed? Yup, that was me. I could not warranty out the broken parts because it was not Trane’s fault. After spending a bunch of money repairing my own system, I installed the surge protectors immediately. Its not that I wasn’t aware I should have them, it was one of the things I was going to “take care of” at some point. That one sure bit me where it hurt. You decide for yourself. HVAC systems are investments.