California’s wildfire problem has reached a point where it isn’t so much a “seasonal” issue anymore. Experts from around the state believe that wildfires are now something we will have to worry about all year round, thanks to high winds and ongoing drought conditions. That means the rolling blackouts that have become commonplace during peak fire conditions are likely not going anywhere anytime soon either. While these blackouts are designed to protect our homes, they can also increase the risk of serious damage in the form of a power surge.
What Is a Power Surge?
A power surge is a brief but sharp increase in voltage and current into your home. When power is restored at the end of a rolling blackout, there is often a surge of power exceeding the voltage range for most homes. When this happens your home and anything connected to your electrical system could be at risk for serious damage should a surge reach them. That means computers, televisions, and important appliances like your refrigerator or washer and dryer could all be at risk in the immediate aftermath of a blackout.
However, what really could be at risk is your heating and cooling system. Heating and cooling are connected to your power at all times, and that makes them particularly susceptible to damage should a surge manage to hit your electrical circuits. A surge can cause immense damage to the important components of your HVAC system, resulting in repair bills that can reach into the thousands.
HVAC Damage from Power Surges
A power surge can do a lot of things to your HVAC system, including damaging the crucial capacitors that allow your system to operate smoothly. There are three primary capacitors in your HVAC system: one starts your heater blower fan while the other two start your air conditioning compressor and blower fan respectively.
A damaged compressor capacitor can place added pressure on the compressor unit itself, and that can cause the system to work inefficiently at best, or even fail completely at worst. Repairing or replacing a compressor can be a hugely expensive repair, so it a good idea to do whatever you can to avoid it. Damage to the capacitor that starts up either of the blower fans is also equally bad—a fan that doesn’t turn on can cause critical components to fail and your entire system to break down. And you may not even realize you have this problem before it’s too late!
Finally, a surge can also cause irreparable damage to circuitry and control boards, which make up the brain of your HVAC system. A fried control board means your heating and cooling system more than likely won’t operate properly or even may not operate again at all. Replacing a control board is a major repair and you may have to replace your entire air conditioner or heater as a result of it.
The Solution to Surges: HVAC Surge Protection
When even a single power surge can cost thousands in unexpected repairs, it’s critical to protect your home and its most important features. An HVAC surge protection system can do just that, keeping your air conditioner and heater safe through any blackout (rolling or otherwise).
A surge protector is sort of like a safety valve for electrical current. Using specialized components that have changing resistance, these systems safely dispose of excess current through your electrical system’s ground wire. When voltage levels get too high, the resistance changes to allow the excess current to escape (like a pressure relief valve on a plumbing system). Once the voltage levels reset and stabilize, the resistance level in the surge protector returns to normal and power continues to flow through to your device. This way, your HVAC system will always receive the proper voltage without interruption, even if the provided voltage level becomes suddenly unstable.
An HVAC surge protection system is an invaluable investment in your home’s safety and stability, particularly when so many things are out of your control. At Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air, we recommend installing an HVAC surge protector as soon as possible, and you can save by doing so right away! We are offering specifically designed HVAC surge protectors for your home for the low price of just $240 installed!
Let Anderson Plumbing, Heating & Air keep your home protected and running safely! Call (866) 374-0402 today to schedule your appointment and take advantage of our great deal on HVAC surge protector installation.