How an AC system can Ruin a Hard Disk Drive, Power Consumption.
Air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, furnaces, power tools, welding equipment, and other devices that require enormous amounts of power, whether at startup, or while in operation at all, affect the power grid around them. When a large appliance starts up, and you see the lights dim, this is what I am talking about. The amount of power we are talking about is huge, like kilowatts, plural, or energy traveling down the line at once. Usually this is only required to get a non commercial grade motor spinning, but commercial grade motors chew this kind of power when ever in operation. If your dimming lights accompany circuit breaker popping, you are using serious amounts of energy. Protecting the wiring is the breakers job, making sound choices is yours. . .
A common residential reason; your air conditioning system may is intentionally overcharged with too much refrigerant to increase it's cooling capacity. Albeit cooler, the arrangement of stresses inside the air conditioner puts a lot of stress on the compressor, and in turn the motor. Starting that motor then requires a WHOLE lot more power to start turning. It has to get the compressor engine moving from a standstill. Friction decreases as speed is reached, and acceleration reaches 0, maintaining a speed...see physics for more
Now if your AC is flickering the lights, imagine what it does to your motherboard, if it doesn't have a battery to fill in the gaps in power. Every time the lights flicker, your motherboard does too, if you don't have a battery backup, uninterruptible power supply, or UPS system protecting it.
What happens is simple, a lot of power tries to get down the wire at once. As the amperage goes up, so too does the resistance. The size of the wire dictates the maximum amperage that can travel down the wire based on pure physics. The loss is expressed in the real world as heat. Basically the wires between the power company, and your A/C all get stressed, and the voltage drops a bit. This voltage drop is seen as the lights of the home dim.
Now if your lights are dimming, imagine what is happening inside a system like a desktop computer. RAM which runs on electricity doesn't have the juice. If your hard drive is trying to write, it must at least slow down a bit if not just fail. The stresses on a CD player, a moter, laser, and communciation system, is just as bad.
If you don't plan to restring the electrical system for the place where your computer resides, a portable battery backup in front of any electronics for which you care, is a good idea....if you care about your computer.
One other thing?
Do you feel safe with your data protected by that powerstrip?
Get yourself a UPS System...And back up your data.