With the arrival of spring showers and storm season around the corner, preparing our homes against dangerous and disruptive weather is something all too familiar.
A common threat against a home's electrical power is lightning. When lightning hits an electric line near your home or something connected to the power grid, it's more than likely a power surge is a few seconds away. When a power surge hits, the sudden voltage increase of electricity flows through circuits, and now everything wired and plugged into an outlet is threatened.
Have you ever woken up in the morning after a night of thunderstorms and noticed the microwave clock is flashing? Then it's likely your home experienced a power surge.
What causes a power surge?
Aside from the weather, like lightning and strong winds, surges can happen from:
- Transformer problems
- Power company issues
- Sudden power return after an outage
- Bad Wiring
- Tripped circuit breakers
- Short Circuits
While lightning tends to be a prime culprit during a thunderstorm, surges can still be unpredictable. Another item to consider is if you have a lot of high-energy appliances running at once. Since high-powered devices like an AC unit or fridge are always working at peak capacity, the constant demand can upset the steady voltage flow of your electrical system.
Lastly, if you live in an area that experiences blackouts, the frequent “sudden return of power” leaves you more at risk of electrical issues.
What appliances are at risk?
When a power surge hits, all valuables plugged into an outlet are threatened. Electronics, computers, appliances, garage doors, and more are susceptible to a sudden spike in voltage, causing them to break or at least subtract a few years from their lifespan. In a worst-case scenario, a power surge can lead to a fire.
After a power surge, the last thing you need is your new refrigerator or washer breaking down, leaving you with the cost of a repair or replacement.
What's the solution to power surges?
The first line of protection is to plug all your expensive devices into a surge protector power strip instead of plugging those devices directly into the wall. However, a power strip is not full-proof protection. And during weather occurrences or after a power outage, it's still recommended to unplug power strips (and anything else plugged directly into the wall).
The easiest and best line of defense is to install a whole-home surge protector. A professional electrician will install a comprehensive whole-home surge protector in your electrical panel. This will suppress the extra electricity during a power surge and prevent it from entering your main system.
Installing a whole-home surge protector is a cost-effective way to protect your home's electrical system from power surges, which will extend the life of your appliances and provide you with peace of mind.
If you're in the Atlanta area, our Mister Sparky electricians can install a whole-home surge protector that will prepare your home's electrical against lightning and other surge-inducing occurrences. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.