Causes and Effects of Power Surges

Causes and Effects of Power Surges

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A power surge is a very significant spike of voltage in your home’s electrical current. Most homes can only handle the standard 120-volt flow of electricity, and a power surge can exceed that significantly.  Although the spike is very brief, lasting less than a thousandth of a second, it can still cause serious damage to your home’s electrical system, electronics, appliances and HVAC system.

What causes a power surge?

The most common causes of power surges are actually small things, like turning on an electrical device that is too high-powered, such as refrigerators, AC units or even space heaters, thereby creating a small spike in the electrical current. Sometimes these power surges are barely even noticeable, and show up in the form of a light flickering. Although these aren’t as severe as lightning surges, and may not even be enough to trip a breaker, they can still cause damage to your appliances.

One of the most dreaded, but rarer forms of power surges is caused by lightning strikes. Lightning doesn’t even have to strike your home to cause a spike in your electrical current. It could also strike a nearby power line or transformer. In fact, a single lightning strike could cause enough of a spike to wipe out your entire electrical system.

Faulty wiring in your home can also affect your home's ability to withstand spikes. If faulty wiring is causing power surges in your home, you may consider speaking with an electrician about rewiring or replacing the circuit breaker.

Sometimes your local electrical company can also accidentally create surges when performing maintenance or other operation.

How does a power surge affect an electrical system?

Power surges are dangerous! They can completely fry your home’s electrical system, damage electronics or appliances, and worst case scenario, start a house fire.

How to prevent power surges from happening

One of the best ways to help prevent a power surge from affecting your home is to have a whole-house surge protector installed. At A#1 Air, we have a solution called GreenPower, which is a powerful solution for surge protection and energy management in your home. If you need a surge protector, have had issues with power surges and need your home rewired, or need your HVAC system serviced due to power surges, please contact A#1 Air today!

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