Surge Protectors And HVAC: What You Need To Know

All electrical appliances suffer from one vulnerability, power surges, which can fry the electrical circuitry of the device and render it inoperable. Modern HVAC equipment use printed circuit boards, which can also be damaged by power surges. There is therefore need for HVAC surge protectors to be installed in the power supply systems of the cooling and heating systems of a home.

Causes of Power Surges

The most common cause of power surges is lightening strikes. The high voltage from lightening can find its way into the grid and any load that is connected to the grid will be affected. The damage may be minor or severe, depending on the types of protective circuits in place. Another cause of power surges is abnormalities in power generation, transmission and distribution systems. While they may be rare, they can cause serious damage to appliances that are connected to the grid. Thirdly, when heavy loads, such as washing machines, electric ovens, water heater and dishwashers are turned off at the same time, there will be a minor power surge in your home’s power supply system. This may damage some appliances, including your air conditioner and heater.

Protecting Your Home Against Power Surges

It is important to note that voltage spikes can emanate from the grid or from your home’s power supply system. To protect your home from power surges emanating from the grid, you may want to consider installing a whole-house surge protector at the main breaker box, or consumer control unit. To protect each electrical appliance from surges resulting from switching off and on of heavy loads, it is crucial that you install individual surge protectors at each electrical outlet where the devices are connected.

Importance of Using HVAC Surge Protectors

Air conditioners contain numerous electrical components, including; compressor pump, thermostat, control system, fans and blowers among others. Each of these components can be damaged during a power surge, hence the need to install surge protectors. These devices are not usually costly, but there are some high-end surge protectors that are very effective. Follow us for more great articles on heating, air conditioning and home needs.

Is Your HVAC System Protected From Power Surges?

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.