Today’s homes are filled with sophisticated and sensitive electronic equipment, from HDTVs to computers. A power surge can be devastating to these electronics because it can burn out sensitive components and render them useless in the blink of an eye. Although power surges often are caused by strong electrical storms, damage to power lines or other external factors, more than half of all power surges in the home are caused by devices inside the home.
This typically happens when a device — even one as small as a hair dryer — suddenly stops drawing power and causes a brief increase in voltage throughout the home. Air conditioning units can switch on and off suddenly several times during the day, so property owners should be aware of what they can do to prevent power surges in their homes.
How Do I Prevent Power Surges?
Preventing power surges in your home requires some foresight and preparation. Here are some steps you can take to keep your home and sensitive electronics safe:
- Inspect your wiring. Faulty or substandard wiring can make power surge problems worse. Have an electrician inspect your home’s wiring for issues, especially if you have an older home.
- Unplug electronics during a storm. Unplugging your sensitive electronics during an electrical storm prevents them from being affected by a power surge caused by a lightning strike.
- Use surge protectors. Expensive and sensitive electronics, such as computers and televisions, should be plugged into power surge protectors to prevent damage caused by surges. Common types of surge protector devices include power strips and surge protector outlets. These devices block excess voltage from reaching your electronics in the event of a power surge.
- Install a whole-home surge processor. A primary surge protector device is installed at the primary breaker box between your home’s electrical system and the grid. It acts the same way as a power strip or other surge protector device, but protects your home’s entire electrical system from surges.
- Install high-efficiency AC units. Older air conditioning units draw more power than the high-efficiency units on the market today. This means they are more likely to cause a power surge in your home when it suddenly stops drawing power. A more-efficient model of AC unit will cut down on the risk of voltage spikes, and it also can save you money on your energy bills.
Protect Your Home
Power surges can cause serious damage to your electronic devices, but there are steps you can take to protect your home. If you’re concerned that your AC unit may be causing frequent voltage spikes in your home, contact Mendel Plumbing and Heating to see if there’s anything we can do to help – 630-377-3608.. Rely on Mendel to keep your electrical in tiptop shape and keep your air conditioner running.