The lights went out last night and you had to break out the candles. Things turned back on after a few hours thankfully but today you've started to realize that something is off with a couple of your home's appliances like your air conditioner. Come to think of it, you also noticed that one or two outlets had burn marks on them too. What's with that?
These are some of the things you may notice post power outage because you may have been the victim of a power surge. There exists a way to defend against power surges though, and our electricians in Maple Grove, MN can help with setting it up.
What is a Power Surge?
Power surges happen when the flow of electricity in your home is interrupted and then restarted.
For example, when you plug in a hairdryer and turn it on, there may be a small surge of between five to ten volts of electricity. Not a huge deal.
It is those times when a power line is damaged, a lightning bolt hits a transformer, or the lights go out in your city, that you are in trouble--this can be thousands of volts surging through the systems in your home.
Power surges are a problem because they can end up damaging the electrical systems in your home. Remember those burnt outlets we mentioned? When there is too much electricity for an outlet to handle, it can heat up and burn. The same principle applies to the components in some of your larger appliances like your air conditioner--in fact, a power surge can hurt your AC enough to cause it to break down early!
How to Defend Against a Power Surge
It probably goes without saying that you want to protect your home and your electrical appliances from power surges. Even small ones can, over time, harm other parts of your electrical system as they accumulate.
The best way to do this is by having an electrician install a power surge protector into your electrical panel.
If you hear the word surge protector and think of a string of outlets plugged into one outlet in your home, we want to clarify that this is not what we are discussing.
Power surge protectors are hard-wired into the electrical panel of your home. This allows these systems to protect your home from up to 40,000 amps of electricity. That's a big deal because that big of a power surge can damage a lot of things in your home if it were to go unchecked.
Here's the catch though: a whole-home surge protector must be installed by a trained electrician. For one thing, it would be dangerous and likely illegal to let anyone other than a pro do a job like this. For another, a professional electrician is going to be able to pair you with the best surge protector for your home and get it installed properly so it can actually do the job it's intended for.
Looking to protect your home's electrical systems? Contact Air Mechanical, Inc. to schedule an appointment with one of our electricians today.