Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/A/C


My house was struck by lightning May 2015, caused a fire and electrical damage. A/C company said we need a new unit because it has acid in it. Ins company sent an adjuster and he said it could be repaired. I paid another A/C company to take a look at the unit and they also said I need a new unit so the ins company will only pay to repair the unit. If I have issues later and I can prove its due to the lightning strike they will pay otherwise I will have to pay for a new unit. My question is, can the acid be caused by the lightning strike and the fact the Ins company took a month before they actually mailed us any checks to start repairs so the unit sat for a while like 3 1/2 months  
Jo Ann

The lightning strike itself will not cause acid to form in the system.  If the strike caused the compressor to burn up, then that could cause acid to form inside the system.  There are also other reasons that acid can form in a system.  

A system can be cleaned up and made acid free as long as the service work is done properly. We do it all the time.  This is not a new procedure. Unless your warranty gives you a new unit, you get a new compressor and clean up the system.  Companies would rather sell you a new system. When they know there is insurance money, they will try to convince the insurance company to replace the system.  Trust me, I might feel the same way.

The question boils down to this...Is it worth fixing?  That is a question I can not answer.  I do not have any idea about the over all condition of the system.  You did not provide me with a model and serial number.  You might be better off over the long run using the repair money towards a new system.  You should also consider there might be rebates out there and tax write-offs.  Some cities, counties, states, and utilities offer rebates to help pay for a newer more efficient system.


Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Craig HVAC Expert


I have been in the HVAC field for the past 18 years. I can help with most HVAC questions. I work on commerical buildings for the most part, and have yet to find anything I could not troubleshoot and repair, when repairable. I work on small 1 ton units to a 2500 ton chiller. Troubleshoot air flow, elect, and control problems. I attend regular classes to keep up with the latest and greatest.


I work on commerical sites, hospitals, gov't buildings. I can troubleshoot just about anything in the HVAC business.

5 years trade school, VFD training classes, Liebert factory training, some York and Trane factory training.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.