Surge Protect HVAC Systems

When faced with extremely hot or extremely cold weather, the last thing you want is for your HVAC systems to fail due to surge-related damage. To be confident your heating and cooling will not fail at the wrong time due to surge-related damage, surge protect HVAC systems and thermostats from utility surges and lightning damaging or low voltage pathways from outdoor heat pumps with the TPD-SLP series. TPD surge protective devices can be used to protect HVAC heating and cooling systems such as mini-splits (duct-free), heating and cooling split systems, hybrid split systems, or packaged heating and air systems from companies such as Mitsubishi, Carrier, and Lennox.

Why Protect HVAC Systems?
It’s summertime, the sun is beating down, and the temperature is 95 degrees. Lightning strikes half a mile away from your home, and suddenly, your air conditioning system fails due to surge-related damage. Downtime while waiting for this equipment to be replaced or repaired means long nights with little rest, discomfort, and headaches from scheduling someone to fix the system, let alone from the costs it takes to repair or replace these systems.

How To Protect HVAC Systems
Surge protection for your HVAC system is first accomplished by protecting the breaker panels which power your HVAC equipment.  By surge protecting these panels you are protecting your HVAC equipment from surges generated both external and internal to the facility.  Sometimes an additional unit can be placed on the disconnect feeding your outdoor heat pump.  While two stage protection is in accord with IEEE and two states are always better than one state,  if the budget is very tight and only one stage can be installed, it is usually more cost effective to protect an entire panel since that would protect not only the heat pump but also all other equipment fed by the breaker panel. Just because the heat pump is outside does not mean it is getting a direct strike of lighting. Chances are the event that is damaging you HVAC equipment is coming for the breaker panel feeding it.

For some larger and or more expensive heat pump installation where you may have a number of heat pumps feed from a trough or large panel, it can easily be cost justified to add an additional layer of protection to that panel or bus bar feeding multiple heat pumps. And, at times we have seen the failure of multiple thermostats. In one unprotected home we witnessed the destruction of 24 out of 32 smart thermostats. The solution was not to put surge protection in front of all the thermostats but rather install protection on the data lines coming from the five outdoor heat pumps.

TPD has the products and experience to design protection for all systems in the home and business.  Count number of wires coming from each outdoor heat pump to the air handler. There is no need to install protection for thermostats at each thermostat. Surge protection should be applied to the exposed pathways that come from outdoor heat pumps. So, if a home had 20 thermostats the best solution would be not to install protection at each of the 20 thermostats, but to instead protect the pathways coming from the five outdoor heat pumps.