How to Protect Your Air Conditioner From Voltage Drops and Power Surges

Air conditioners are sensitive electronic appliances that are prone to damage from power surges just like any other appliance. Just because air conditioners are located outside and are weatherproof, we tend to think they are somewhat indestructible, but that just isn’t the case.


Air conditioners require regular maintenance and care to run effectively and efficiently, and adding a surge protector to your air conditioner can help ensure it’s protected for years to come.

In addition to changing the filters, consider installing the Intermatic Compressor Defender. It’s a surge and low-voltage protector for your AC unit. It works similar to how a surge protector in our home protects your computer and other sensitive electronic equipment.


Don’t rely on any built-in surge protection for your air-conditioner. Despite what the manufacturer might claim, added protection will ensure your AC units will keep running smoothly throughout the hottest days of summer.

Monitor Your Voltage

Maintaining consistent power to your air-conditioner is important for your unit to run as efficiently as possible. When the voltage is too low the motor will pull more than normal current and the temperature of the motor windings will rise 10% to 15% for each 10% drop in Voltage.


This can damage motors and wear on the life of your AC. The Compressor Defender continuously monitors voltage and will react quickly (3 line cycles) to low voltage conditions, even before an overload (fail safe) has time to heat up and react.

compress defender

Power quality is an issue at grids across the country, with rolling blackouts becoming more commonplace, so it’s vital to protect your AC units as best you can.

Surge Protection

Proper surge protection is also important to ensure our sensitive electronics aren’t damaged. We’ve previously covered Intermatic’s Surge Protective device, which does an outstanding job safeguarding our household electronics, but what about major household appliances, specifically the air-conditioner.

surge protector

Intermatic has a solution to prevent brownouts, surges, and short cycles at 120,208, and 240 VAC loads. Their Compressor Defender absorbs surges so your AC can continue running smoothly and without interruption.

AG surge

When a surge hits your air-conditioner, it can cause it to reset and can throw off the settings and basically cause havoc on its electronics, much like it would on any computer.


The Compressor Defender takes 10 minutes to install and can be placed inside a condensing unit or on an outdoor compressor. It is compliant with the AHRI standard 110-1012.

defender surge

By installing a Compressor Defender you’ll save money on expensive service calls and out of warranty repairs.

Air conditioners are expensive but with proper care and protection, they can last a long time. Check to see if you’ve got a surge protector for your air conditioner and consider adding one if you don’t to maximize the life of your AC unit.

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