If you’ve lived in Port Charlotte, Florida, for long, you’re probably familiar with the significant number of lightning storms the state of Florida receives every year. Blackouts, brownouts, and surges are relatively common in most Florida areas. Power issues, surges especially, cause internal wire damage to your appliances, eventually causing some of them to stop working. Here’s what you need to know about power surge damage in your Port Charlotte home, and how to avoid it.
Extra Voltage Issues
The wires in your home can carry 110 volts or 220 volts, and the people who design electronics and home appliances equip their products to handle that much electricity at a time. When lightning strikes, it can cause power surges to go far above 220 volts. Your electronics aren’t equipped to handle more electricity, so when a huge electricity surge flows through their cords, more often than not, they sustain considerable damage.
Some appliances will continue to work after a few surges, but that amount of electricity will damage the internal wiring until one day, a surge stops it from working. Think about it: a surge of electricity can physically burn the wires within your appliances (and your house). Even if they keep working after that, it’s dangerous to run appliances with damaged wires.
Outlet Surge Protectors
You’ve seen those big surge protector plug strips before. They have a row of spots for three-prong plugs and an on/off switch. If you plug your appliances into a surge protector strip instead of straight into your wall outlet, they’re protected from power surges that could fry their insides.
There’s one thing to know about surge protectors: they can only withstand a certain amount of voltage. A surge protector will work a finite number of times before it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, you can’t always tell when they’re worn out. Many surge protectors come with a warning light that will either go on or off when the surge protector has reached the end of its lifespan. But the longer you have had the surge protector, the less likely it’s still able to protect against surges. Many people opt to replace them every year.
Whole House Surge Protectors
Some of your appliances, like your heat pump or central AC, can’t plug into an outlet surge protector. That’s where whole house surge protectors come in handy. They attach to your house’s electrical panel and protect the entire house the same way a smaller surge protector works in parts of your home.
Whole home surge protectors are great to use in tandem with other forms of surge protection, like power strips. Including several layers of surge protection in a state with lots of lightning like Florida is the best way to protect your home’s wiring, your appliances, and your electronics from unpredictable weather.
Unexpected Computer Damage
Your computer is probably as essential to your life as your appliances are. Computers aren’t designed to shut down without running through a shutdown process. Though many computers manufactured in the last couple years can survive being turned off abruptly, you don’t want to allow this to happen to your laptop, tablet, or desktop if you can help it. Power surges and power outages can both cause your computer to shut down without warning.
The reason your computer has a shutdown process is so it can close any files it might be running in the background. Your computer runs all sorts of processes, from anti-viruses to system updates. Interrupting running files with an abrupt shutdown sometimes causes file corruption. In worst-case scenarios, those corrupted files will prevent your computer from working properly and you’ll need to do a system restore to fix it. The only way to truly protect your computer is to unplug it as soon as a storm starts.
Contact Luminous Electric if you don’t have adequate surge protection in your home. We can discuss your whole home surge protector options, and we can recommend some good surge protector strips that you can use inside the house. Using just one form of surge protection might not be enough in Florida, so let us help you develop a layered plan. Give us a call today.