You plug your computer into a surge protector, but did you know that your HVAC system needs one too? Let’s face it—an air conditioner is the most reliable of all the methods to keep yourself cool during scorching Texas Summers. If you want to stay comfortable throughout a heatwave, your HVAC system needs to be cranked up high enough to cool the whole house. While this may sound ideal, it comes with a price. Higher energy bills? Yes, but something far worse can happen.
A cranked-up air conditioner unit can cause stress on your home’s electrical system. Additional stress to the system can cause power surges that can fry your electrical appliances and increase the risk of breakdowns and irreparable damage.
If you want to keep your air conditioning system in pristine condition, consider taking extra precautions and ensure your HVAC system receives protection against power surges. How? With the help of an HVAC surge protector.
But before we get into the benefits of surge protectors, let’s go into more detail about power surges and how they affect your HVAC system:
What Is a Power Surge?
Power surges occur when electrical power is higher than usual. The voltage level for household appliances and electronics in the United States operates at 120 volts on average. When a significantly higher voltage comes through the wire and into an electrical device, it can cause a power surge.
Surges can vary from small to large. They can also result in slower performance and damage to your plugged-in appliances or devices.
How Do Surges Happen?
Power surges can happen in one of three ways:
- There’s an interruption in the flow of electricity.
- An increased amount of power is interrupted by electricity flowing back into the system.
- A sudden increase in voltage is sent through a power system from an external or internal force.
A power surge can range from as little as one volt over the threshold maximum of 169 volts. For example, when lightning strikes a power line or transformer, a power surge can occur from as much as one thousand volts or more over the threshold maximum.
How Do Power Surges Affect Your HVAC System?
Power surges often occur during the summer when most households swap from heating to cooling. Some appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, are always running at peak capacity during the summer months. As these appliances are running at an all-time high, the excess power can interfere with the usual steady flow of electricity, which leads to a spike in energy.
As mentioned, lightning and thunderstorms can disrupt a nearby power line or transformer, leading to a power surge. A sudden power surge can cause damage to your HVAC system because of its many intricate and sensitive electrical components.
A power surge can either result in the failure of your HVAC unit or lead to a slow breakdown. Sometimes the deterioration of the HVAC system isn’t always apparent, making it hard to determine whether it’s experiencing a short circuit or system failure. The HVAC system may require extensive repairs or replacement if the damage is severe.
How To Prevent Power Surge Damage
HVAC Surge Protectors
When an excess amount of electricity flows into your home’s electrical system, a surge protector reroutes the current away from the heating and cooling unit, redirecting power into a ground wire. Most common surge protectors use a metal oxide varistor (MOV) to direct the extra volts. The extra voltage is redirected into the ground to avoid the risk of electrical shocks and fires.
Surge protectors ensure that your HVAC unit only receives the voltage it needs to continue operating without further electrical issues.
In the event of extreme power surges, such as those caused by lightning storms, the surge protector will not be able to redirect the excess power. Instead, surge protectors cut off its connection to the HVAC system. What does that mean? It means the protector takes the full force of the surge to protect your HVAC system.
Benefits of Surge Protectors
Prolongs the HVAC Unit’s Lifespan
HVAC systems feature many complex components, such as circuit boards, blower motors, evaporator coils, and more. Most HVAC systems can withstand a power fluctuation, but they can’t resist the force of a power surge. Surge protectors can prolong the life of your HVAC system, as it will prevent too much power from damaging the unit. While this means the surge protector will be destroyed, it ensures that your heating and cooling system remains in working order. It also significantly reduces the cost of replacing or repairing your unit.
You may wonder how exactly a surge protector can help you save energy. Surge protectors don’t reduce power consumption, but they can keep your HVAC unit in top shape and ensure they run efficiently without an electrical problem. When a component in the system is slightly damaged, it can negatively affect the heating and cooling efficiency in your home. Damages can make the HVAC unit push harder to keep your home at your desired temperature, using up more energy in the process.
Maintaining your AC unit can take a lot of work. It’s paramount to receive expert services from your local air conditioner repair in San Marcos, TX. Our team can provide full service for AC and furnace maintenance, as well as repairs and installations. Whether you’re looking to replace your AC unit or install new ductwork, we can find a solution that works for you.