Power surges can be rare and are not usually a priority concern of homeowners. However, they do happen and can cause a lot of expensive and hassle if they damage items inside the home. Homes and electrical devices were meant to withstand a certain amount of electrical voltage. Though a power surge can be brief, it can cause a significant spike in the amount of electricity an appliance or device receives. This momentary, yet high, spike, can cause significant damage or loss in a home. When we think of electrical power surges, we usually think of electronic equipment like computers, stereo equipment and television sets. However, more costly power surges can affect your home utilities and HVAC system. A power surge can damage or ruin your air conditioning unit, boiler, furnace, and hot water heater. Using power surge protecting power strips and specialized outlets can help protect smaller electronic devices and appliances. However, they do nothing to protect your home utilities or larger appliances.
What causes a power surge to occur?
Power surges can come from several different sources. The most common cause is lightning, with over 20 million cloud to ground lightning strikes per year in the continental United States. They can also be caused by:
• Electrical Storms
• Downed Power Lines
• Faulty Building Wiring
• Power Outages
• Cycling On or Off of larger type appliances
• Maintenance at the power plant
• Bad Electrical Components
• Aged Electrical Components
Home Power Surge Protection
Knowing that power surges can take several paths and do not have to enter through the electrical panel shows that a strong surge protection system should include:
• Protection of the incoming electrical service
• Some type of protection of phone lines and cable TV lines
• Point-of-use surge protectors at sensitive and expensive appliances
If you normally only call your HVAC technician for HVAC maintenance, now is the time to call for another reason; to protect your home utilities. Your HVAC contractor can help you ensure that your home’s HVAC system and other important utilities are protected from an internal or external power surge. Call your trusted HVAC contractor today to learn more.