Your home’s electricity system is absolutely crucial to your day-to-day life. Without it, practically every modern convenience you rely on would disappear in a heartbeat. Luckily, that’s not a problem for the most part.
Almost all the time, when you flip a switch or plug something in, it springs to life like magic, and you don’t have to worry about a thing. However, there’s always the chance for you to go to flip that switch and find out the power is out.
Most of us have experienced power outages from storms or someone running into the local transformer, and those tend to last for a few hours. They’re usually not too much of an inconvenience unless you rely on powered medical equipment or your food goes bad.
However, even when the grid only goes down briefly, you can experience some serious problems.
Extreme weather conditions or surges from grid problems can greatly damage your home’s electrical system and everything plugged into it. This can be anything from your toaster to your computer or even the wiring of your house itself.
Obviously, none of those things are good, and depending on the extent of the damage, your entire life can be changed trying to repair everything.
Luckily, you can protect your home’s electrical system and your home’s appliances and tech gadgets with a few fairly simple techniques.
Let’s take a look at how you can start preparing your electrical system for extreme weather!
You don’t always know when a power problem is going to hit. If there’s an incoming storm, and you pay attention to news broadcasts, you can get a heads-up.
But sometimes, either a freak electrical incident happens, or a man-made problem affects the grid.
If you’re caught off-guard, you might experience some damage to your home’s electrical system.
Luckily, it’s usually weather that you can get a warning of well ahead of time. In that event, you can take a very simple step to protect your electronics, which are the most sensitive parts of your home’s electrical system.
When you know there’s the potential for extreme conditions to damage your home’s electrical system, unplug all of the electronics around your house that are not immediately necessary.
If it’s not something such as a necessary medical device that needs to be powered 24/7, then it should be unplugged to prevent a power surge from frying it. If you rely on items that need to remain plugged in, it’s necessary to keep a backup generator and protect those items from electrical surges.
2: Install Surge Protectors
As we said, you don’t get a warning all the time. You might not watch a lot of TV, pay attention to your phone, or even listen to the radio. So, bad weather can sneak up on you. Even if you do, something that isn’t weather-related can occur in an instant. For that, you need to consider installing a surge protector.
This is as simple as buying a nice power strip that includes the feature and using that where appropriate.
You can’t do this for everything in your home, but it will allow you to keep your television and a few other electronics turned on during the event, and if a surge hits, the protector will stop it from damaging your devices.
This is crucial for life-saving electronics or systems you use to monitor the situation when bad weather hits.
3: Make Sure Your Home’s Wiring is Up-to-Date
This is a big one. Older systems are more susceptible to electrical damage during extreme weather, and that makes them more dangerous, as well.
As technology advances, safety features are invented and used in standard equipment. So, simply having your home’s electrical system updated will help protect you to an extent.
This can be a hefty expense, but it’s something you should be doing anyway, and the peace of mind that comes from blowing a fuse instead of experiencing a house fire is well worth the expense.
4: Reduce Electrical Usage During Extreme Heat
During extremely hot weather, it’s very easy to put too much of a load onto your system. The electrical grid is under more stress, and typically, you’re increasing that level of stress both locally and in your private home by running your AC at a more intense level.
One thing you can do when preparing your electrical system for extreme weather is to increase the temperature on the thermostat just a bit and then switch to ceiling fans or floor fans.
Fans will take up less energy than your AC, and if you increase the temperature on the thermostat, your AC won’t run as often.
This allows you to keep your home safe and comfortable while reducing your electrical pull, and that reduces the chance of an electrical event occurring during extreme heat conditions.
5: Install a Whole-House Surge Protector
This is the same concept as the appliance and device surge protectors we mentioned earlier, but it’s all-encompassing for your entire home.
Thus, it’s more expensive and slightly more complicated. When an electrical event occurs that sends too much electricity through your electrical system, such as a lightning strike or a blown transformer nearby, the whole-house surge protector will cut your power before that energy routes itself through your home’s electrical grid.
This will turn everything off and block everything from pulling power, but it will protect your home and your electronics.
A good item to pair with this (and regular surge protectors) is a UPS system on things such as entertainment centers, refrigerators, and computer setups. A UPS is essentially a battery pack that will supply connected electronics with power for a short period of time after the surge protector cuts off all the power.
It’s not a lot, but it’s enough to save documents on your PC and shut down safely. Ensure you get what you need from the fridge before sealing it up to keep it cool or let you continue tuning into a broadcast to monitor the situation.
Get Help from the Best
Now, you know how to prepare your home electrical system for extreme weather! But don’t get your guard down. Even if you follow all these tips, you can experience serious problems with your home’s wiring.
We can’t help with blown electronics you could have unplugged, but our electrical contractors can help you update your home’s electrical to the safest, most resilient wiring on the market and guide you through proper preventative measures to ensure that you don’t lose power or end up with hefty expenses over something as simple as a lightning storm.
If you’re ready to protect your home electrical system from extreme weather, don’t hesitate to contact us today!