AC Blowing Hot Air After A Power Outage

Your AC was running great, then the power flickered off and then back on during a storm. Now it is blowing warm air. What should you do? There are a couple reasons why this problem happens to more people than you would think. If you are looking for air conditioning repairs in Allentown Pennsylvania than you need to be informed on why you HVAC unit has stopped working.

Most likely, the quick off and on motion of electricity feeding the AC unit has caused the compressor to short cycle, therefore quickly overheating the compressor electrically. When the device that looks like a small silver can has had a power surge delivered to it; it has an internal short and fails to operate. It has a noticeable bulge on top where the terminals are located. This device stores energy and helps the compressor and the fan motor start. When it fails, the motor and compressor may not have enough immediate power to start and will just hum. Over a short period of time; this can be harmful to the compressor and outdoor fan motor and cause them to overheat and fail permanently. Sometimes there is no visible damage and must be tested electrically by a professional HVAC technician or electrician. Below is a picture of a burnt compressor. If your compressor looks like the one below, contact a trusted HVAC professional immediately. The capacitors can also weaken after time and become ineffective and need replacement. You might be asking yourself if this is going to damage your AC unit. In almost all cases, your AC unit will be fine, and a little overheating now and then will not cause any damage.

Burnt and pitted cap
Damaged Compressor

The next step is to turn off your AC unit and let it cool down for at least 30 minutes. This should give it enough time to cool down.


If your system does not restart after allowing to cool then make a call an experienced HVAC technician. In some cases your unit may not come back on which often indicates that there are other underlying issues that have not yet exposed themselves. These types of issues are typically identified during a preventative maintenance inspection and usually avoid costly repairs. Preventative maintenance should be performed on a semi-annual basis to ensure the longest life and least expense possible.

If your HVAC professional tells you that the failed part is a motor starting device/capacitor, ask (if your technician does not suggest it) for an Amrad Turbo-200 device and or a surge protector. The Amard capacitors are more expensive, but are of a very high quality, are made in the USA, and have a 5-year replacement warranty. The surge protector adds another layer of protection against the unwanted electrical surge that may do damage to any of your electrical components within the outdoor unit.

Amrad Turbo cap

Miscellaneous electrical problems could be the source as well. There are a ton of wires flowing in out and around the external unit and internal unit. If one of these wires is frayed, cut, or otherwise damaged, it could cause poor performance or even break the unit down entirely.

Wiring can be frayed if it gets burnt by overheating, but this is an extremely rare occurrence. Generally, wires are cut by the family pets, such as cats and dogs. If the wire is exposed and they decide to chew on it, the unit will malfunction. To prevent this from happening, you should make sure wires are not sticking out. If they are and cannot be fixed, we recommend keeping both your external and internal units protected from animals with some sort of wall or fence around it.