The Potential Impact of Brownouts and Power Outages On Your AC System

August 2, 2023

When your power goes out entirely or partially due to a brownout, how does this affect your home? You may experience a partial loss of capacity with your appliances and experience dimmed or flickering lights. All of which will be remedied when the power is back on.

But what about your AC system? On a particularly hot day, a partial or complete loss of electricity makes your home uncomfortable for the time being – but can it cause damage?

Today we’ll discuss power losses and how they can impact your AC system.

Brownouts and Power Outages

A brownout is a drop in voltage (be it planned or unplanned) in an electrical power supply system, affecting the quality of your electricity on a smaller scale. The reason brownouts are put in place is for the purpose of load reduction in an emergency. This reduction can last for minutes or sometimes hours, depending on the need. The reason it’s called a brownout is because of the dimming when the voltage sags. A voltage reduction can happen when the electrical grid is disrupted or may be used to prevent a full power outage. Some of your appliances will be reduced in capacity, while some might not experience much of a change.

On the other hand, a power outage (or blackout) is when a service area loses power completely. Rolling blackouts There are controlled power outages called “rolling blackouts,” which occur in case of emergency. Power outages are usually unplanned or at least very spontaneously planned and can last anywhere from half an hour to several hours or, worst case scenario, days. These are usually the result of equipment failure or weather damage.

How Brownouts and Outages Affect AC Systems

Blackouts and brownouts affect HVAC systems in various ways. Your AC system can be negatively impacted if you don’t proceed correctly. When a brownout occurs, you may still have power but won’t have enough voltage to run your air conditioning at full capacity. In this case, it is recommended that you turn off your AC system entirely.

Whether you experience an entire power shutdown or a partial one like a brownout, you’ll need to turn off your AC system. This is because your AC might experience damage when it reaches full voltage again. Power surges and fluctuations can also damage your AC unless you have a surge protector. Without this, you may end up with costly repairs or need to replace your system entirely.

It may be tempting to let your reduced air run during a brownout, but the time without cooling is worth not having to replace your AC unit.

Check After a Power Surge, Too!

In addition to unplanned power losses, a power surge can be equally damaging to your AC system. A surge in voltage can cause malfunctions to integral components in your air conditioner. It’s a good idea to have a professional technician inspect and test your air conditioner after experiencing a power surge or spike in your home.

Call Peters Associates for Help with AC Damages

If your AC system has been damaged due to a brownout or blackout, our team is here to help! We can repair damages and, if need be, discuss replacement possibilities. Customer satisfaction and trust is at the heart of what we do and it is reflected in our work every day. We also handle HVAC services unrelated to brownouts, such as heating, tune-ups, thermostat issues, problems with evaporator coils, and more!

Don’t let the damages caused by a brownout ruin your cooling. Call Peters Associates today!

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