When you think of power surges, you probably think of lightning or downed power lines. But storms aren’t the only thing causing your home’s electricity to fluctuate.
“Appliances in your home that cycle on-and-off, like air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines, can also affect your home’s electrical system. If you notice the lights flickering when these appliances turn on, there’s a strong chance your home’s power is surging,” says Ted Fox, owner of Fox Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electrical in Vernon.
Luckily, many appliances and electronics now come with built-in surge protection. If you plug delicate items like computers into a power bar, you can add another layer of defence to prevent damage.
“Keep in mind that not all power bars are equal — some offer more protection than others, and surges in the electrical grid can still cause damage,” Fox says.
You may not notice damage or wear in your home’s wiring right away, but over time it can make your electronics more vulnerable. And in the unlucky event of a lightning strike, you may have to spend thousands of dollars replacing fried appliances, outlets, switches and computers.
Protect your home from power surges:
- Limit the number of devices connected to a single outlet.
- Avoid plugging sensitive electronics like computers into the same outlet as air conditioners or refrigerators.
- If lights dim or circuit breakers trip frequently, contact a certified electrician to inspect your home’s wiring.
- Unplug sensitive electronics during storms.
- Install home surge protection for extra peace of mind.
A/C efficiency tips
Keep your home cool, and your air conditioner happy, with these tips:
- Tune up: Clean dust off the exterior of your air conditioner, ensure vents are clear and change your air filter. Hire a specialist to conduct an annual tune-up.
- Adjust slowly: “Air conditioners are meant to maintain cool temperatures, not quickly cool you down,” Fox says. Set your thermostat and leave it alone — your air conditioner will use less energy, and is less likely to break down. “During heat waves, it’s normal for your home to warm up a few degrees during the day. A functioning A/C unit should catch up overnight.”
- Close the blinds: Keep warm air out by closing windows and shades. “Summer temperatures heat your walls and furniture as well as the air, and cooling those surfaces down takes extra effort for your A/C. The more you can help out by keeping the house cool, the happier your air conditioner should be,” Fox says.
For more home maintenance tips and exclusive savings, visit foxandsons.ca or follow them on Facebook. Call 1-833-793-4569 to request service for plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical issues, or schedule service online.