A sudden change in electricity such as from a lightning strike can damage the appliances and electronics in a home, including your refrigerated air system. Typically, homeowner’s insurance will cover the HVAC unit when it’s been struck by lightning or damaged by hail or high winds.

But what about when there are rolling brownouts, planned disruptions when the power company reduces the supply of power in order to protect the system from blackouts by excessive demand? Will insurance cover any damage to the unit then?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage caused by abrupt, accidental harm brought about by man-made energy. Some exclusions apply for electrical components and some policies may have limits based on the lifespan of the unit.

Because brownouts reduce the voltage, easing the demand on the power system, air conditioning systems (as well as other appliances like your refrigerator and television) may try to perform with less voltage than they are designed for. Parts such as the condenser motor in the refrigerated air system need consistent voltage.

This summer, if your power goes off, remember to turn off you’re A/C unit at the thermostat. Once power has been restored, then you can turn it back on. If you’re not home when the brown-out occurs and later find that your unit doesn’t seem to be cooling properly, turn it off. Check the circuit breaker to see if it needs to be reset. Give the unit a chance to reset by waiting about 30 minutes, then turning it back on.

If it’s still not working properly, give us a call at Affordable Service. We are here when needed during summer’s hot weather for A/C repairs, swamp cooler repairs, or conversions to new, energy-efficient HVAC systems.

If the refrigerated air system was damaged during a brownout or a weather-related event, we’ll document what happened and provide you with pictures of the damage. If you decide to file an insurance claim, you’ll need to know your unit’s model and serial number. If you purchased the unit from Affordable Service, you can access that information by creating an account on our website; if you have any problems with that, give us a call. Your insurance company may send an adjuster to your home to inspect the unit; if that happens, be sure to meet with them. After the repair or replacement of the cooling system, you’d submit your receipts to them for reimbursement.

This summer, if your home is affected by sporadic power outages and have damage to your refrigerated air from a brownout, let us know. Regardless of the cause, if your HVAC stops cooling and you need air conditioning repair, give us a call for prompt, affordable service!