Can My AC Handle a Power Surge?

Electricity is a highly valued resource that powers our everyday lives. However, because it is so integral in our routines and households, it is often easy to overlook its importance until something bad happens. Today, we will explore one of the most dreadful electrical events called a power surge. 

Using decades of training and experience, the team of electricians at One Source Home Service compiled this article to define what a power surge is, how it affects the home, and how to prevent it. Read on to learn how you can avoid this terrible circumstance in your home. 

Power Surge Defined

Power surges are a phenomenon caused by a significant spike in the current of an electrical system. This occurs as a result of circuit boards that are too overloaded for appliances and other electrical devices to handle. Though this surge lasts less than a second, the damage it causes is often irreparable and long lasting. Power surges are caused by electrical overload, faulty wiring, lightning, and power outages. 

Power Surge Vs. Power Outage

Power surges and outages are frequently confused. Before we continue our discussion on power surges, we will differentiate between the two events. A power outage happens when electricity isn’t running through the home. The lights and appliances aren’t working due to faulty wiring or something breaking. Power outages are also a result of local power structures being struck down in an accident or weather storm. Sometimes, local power authorities mandate power outages to conserve energy. 

We can see that an outage is entirely different from a power surge, which is a surplus of energy being transferred through the electrical system. This is caused by an increase in energy such as a lightning storm, or as we said earlier, from a faulty electrical set up. 

Power Surge Effects on the Home

How does a power surge affect the home and what kind of damage can you expect? Below we breakdown major electrical components of the home and explain how each will be affected by a power surge. 

Air Conditioner

Now that you learned a bit about power surges, you may wondering, “Can my AC handle a power surge?” Unfortunately, the answer here is no. Though it is just a millisecond occurrence, that quick surge can do quite a bit of damage. It will burn up some of the wires and fuses, while also causing extensive compressor damage. It can fry the capacitors and bring them to an irreparable state. Often, air conditioning systems require replacement or extensive repair after a power surge.

Circuit Board

The circuit boards and its capacitors will also be fried as a result of a power surge. The capacitors on it will also burn out, causing them to turn on and off frequently. In most cases, it doesn’t even turn. 

Furnace

Now you may think that your furnace can’t possibly be affected. After all, it is powered by gas. However, both gas and electric furnaces can be burned up by the power surge. This will cause it to stop working and require replacement. Unless you’ve recently won the lottery or have a good savings account, this replacement will be an expensive one. 

Speaking of furnaces, does yours need an inspection? Read our article to find out. 

How To Prevent a Power Surge

The technicians at One Source Home Service have seen countless power surges and have compiled a few strategies to help you protect yourself from such damage. These strategies include:

  • Not using an electronic device? Unplug it!
  • Use power strips and surge protectors regularly
  • Update you wiring system
  • Get some volt surge protectors!

If you’ve had a power outage in the area, a power surge may occur after the power is restored. To mitigate a surge, make sure to do the following during the outage to protect yourself:

  • Turn off the thermostat
  • Turn off major appliances at the circuit breaker
  • After power is returned, use the circuit breaker to turn each appliance and AC on
  • Allow 30 minutes for the electricity to run before turning on the AC and appliances, if applicable.

This slow restart of the systems will prevent a massive overload of power after it being absent for a time. It will ensure that your home is safe and in working order after an outage.

Another protective measure you can take to protect your home from a disaster is to winterize your plumbing. Read our blog to learn how!

Schedule Your Electrical Service Today!

Whether your home recently suffered a power surge or other electrical problems, you will need the help of reliable and skilled electricians like the ones from One Source Home Service. Our electricians are available for your assistance 24/7. Call us today to schedule your service at 719-532-9000, or fill out our contact form online and one of our representatives will get in touch. 

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