With extreme weather, both hot and cold, you’ll occasionally experience a power surge where the lights flicker on and off. Sometimes the power will stay down for minutes, or even hours at a time.
That sudden burst can make you jump. What’s happening to all of the sensitive electronics in your home? While you may immediately think about your entertainment center and computer equipment, there’s another home appliance you should consider too.
There are two events that can impact your furnace: a power surge and a power outage.
A power outage occurs when there is no electricity coming into your home. It may be on your end - a tripped wire. Or it may be in your area - a breakdown at a power station.
A power surge is the exact opposite. Instead of no electricity coming into your home, too much flows in instead.
Because homes are wired in a certain way, and are designed to receive electricity at 120 volts, manufacturers create products to accept current at this level. Your home’s wiring is also designed with an alternator that regulates this voltage. If too much enters your home, power reaches its intended destination, with the extra current routing back out.
However, sometimes powerful blasts come in through the lines. If it’s too much for your alternator to handle, it has nowhere to go but to dissipate throughout the lines. And that’s when big problems can occur.
For your sensitive electronics, you may have installed a power strip to help protect your equipment. And while that can work for computers and televisions, they wouldn’t do much for your larger appliances.
Because a furnace requires more electricity to function than other household appliances, they plug into special 220 volt outlets. At any given time they have more electrical current flowing into the equipment to keep it functioning at a normal rate. But just like any other appliance, too much of a good thing is never good. One blast can damage the equipment, which can be costly for either repair or full replacement.
Since power strips aren’t an option for keeping your furnace safe, you may wish to install a volt surge protector to help ensure power surges don’t reach your equipment. If your wiring is old, and you’ve been noticing a lot of surges, it may be time for an electrical upgrade.
Not sure why your furnace has been acting up? We can help. We’ll evaluate your furnace and give you advice on how to keep your home as efficient as it can be. Give us a call today.