How to Protect Your Home against Power Surges
When it comes down to residential surge protection there are some ways in which homeowners can protect their home electronics from any sort of damage because of power surges. Power surges have always been a problem for homeowners and commercial buildings alike – anything that uses electricity for that matter. Not only are they the silent culprits behind electronics not working out of the blue, but they can also sometimes cause serious damage, and we’re talking short-circuiting.
What exactly is a power surge, and what is the reason behind the cause of it is what this article’s about. And of course, ways in which you can protect your home from them.
What Is a Power Surge?
Pretty sure you all have experienced the occasional flickering lights, or an appliance jumpstarting when you switch it on. That is the result of a power surge. Also referred to as an electrical surge, power surges are described as the sudden increase in voltage, which happens due to several reasons. And this non-consistent, sudden increase lasts for just a few seconds, but those can be detrimental to our electronic devices that are connected to any outlet or wiring.
Read on below on what are some of the causes of power surges.
What Can Trigger a Power Surge?
One of the most common source of a power surge is lightning. Without a doubt whenever there is a thunderstorm or lightning in your area, expect to experience some power surges. That is precisely why our parents panic and unplug anything expensive, like the smart TV, the vintage lamp, the air conditioner – you get the picture.
Lightning carries millions of volts within a single strike, whereas a household only requires a miniscule fraction of that. The electrical current finds its way into our homes through cables, wires, satellite dishes, anything that’s essentially a conductor.
2. Faulty Wiring
Old or faulty wiring is definitely a factor that can trigger a power surge, whether it is a harmless one or enough to damage anything connected to the power supply of the house. That is because these wires have lesser electrical resistance, so anything that serves as a conductor can trigger a surge.
How can you tell if the internal wiring of your home or an outlet is old or faulty though? Well, if you happen to hear an audible buzzing sound from an outlet, or smell a burning odor while an outlet is in use, or see any burn marks after unplugging your devices, rest assured there is a problem with the wiring behind the outlet. It would be wise to bring in a professional electrician for consultation and see your options.
3. Power Outages
Power breakdowns can be quite frustrating, but what’s more annoying is the power surge(s) that follow afterwards. Whenever a power station switches the power back on, it releases a massive influx of electricity into the grid which is further connected to our homes. And this influx finds its way into our homes via cables and wires – sometimes bringing in more voltage than is needed.
How to Protect Your Home and Electronics
1. Surge Protector
There is such a thing known as a Surge Protector that homeowners can use to prevent any sort of damage to their electronic devices plugged into a power source. Surge Protectors are similar to extension cords, providing multiple outlets to plug in your devices from one power source but with the exception of the fact that they come built with little circuit breakers and a grounding wire that grounds the excessive voltage rather than letting it pass through the device.
That is also precisely why they are slightly more expensive than regular extension cords. As for the average lifespan of a surge protector, it really depends on how many surges it has encountered and diffused.
However, consider it an investment into your home when buying surge protectors. It will increase the lifespan and minimize the damage to most of your electronic devices.
2. Surge Coverage Plans
Subscribing to a surge coverage plan provided by your local electric company would be another alternative when it comes to protecting your home against surges. Companies like FirstEnergy Electric have affordable plans for homeowners to subscribe to, which in return provides protection of up to $6000 annually, and covers or reimburses the cost of repairs and replacements of certain home electronics and appliances – should they get damaged because of a power surge.
3. What Else?
What else is there that can possible be done given that there is no one final solution to stopping power surges from occurring. Unplugging devices is one option as well. No money needed, no installations or subscriptions! Rather with a simple habit such as unplugging devices and appliances when they are not in use, or before going to bed even, could go a long way.
We hope this article gave you some clarity onto all things power surges. It is better to know what can cause them so that if there are any underlying issues that you take note of, they can be taken care of to minimize surge occurrences, as well as solutions if not permanent ones to protect your home.