How to Protect Your HVAC System from Power Surges

How to Protect Your HVAC System from Power Surges

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Power surges are not limited to lightning storms – they occur at any time throughout the year due to various sources. When a power surge hits, it has the ability to cause serious damage to appliances and plugged-in devices, as well as your heating and cooling system. Solutions exist to protect this sensitive and expensive equipment from power surges. If surge damage is prevented just once, the investment has paid for itself, though most Atlanta homeowners find the peace of mind gained from whole home surge protection installation to be invaluable.

Estes Services provides solutions for power surges that damage HVAC systems and knows exactly how to keep your heating and cooling system running smoothly despite a surge. Learn more about the damaging effects of power surges, their causes and how to protect against them.

What Are Power Surges?

A power surge is a spike in electricity that runs through your home. The flow of electricity is interrupted and then begins again during a power surge. They typically only last a fraction of a second, yet in this short time they have the power to cause immense damage throughout your home. 

When most people think of power surge damage, they think of storm-related damage to household electrical equipment, like a blown TV or computer after a lightning strike. Not only are computers, microwaves, refrigerators and televisions susceptible to power surges – your heating and cooling system is equally at risk and not only during a storm.

What Causes Power Surges?

Lightning strikes are the most well-known source of a power surge. Power surges caused by lightning are external power surges, as the increased electrical current comes into the home through connecting power lines. There are also internal power surges – which originate from sources inside the home – which also lead to HVAC damage. While lightning strikes are the most powerful, feared and rarest source of power surges – smaller surges from within the home are actually the most common cause of power surges.

Heavy-duty appliances and devices have the potential to cause electrical current spikes when they turn on and cycle off. Issues with your home’s appliances or electrical system can cause surges, such as faulty wiring or components. These daily surges, even though small, cause damage instantly or slowly over time. 

Power surges also occur due to electricity flow changes within the power grid, such as:

  • The sudden surge when electrical power is restored following an outage
  • Electrical utility distribution equipment malfunctions, such as broken electrical lines or overheated transformers
  • Tree limbs falling on electrical lines, which route electricity to the ground instead of through the line

How Is Your HVAC System Affected?

Modern furnaces and air conditioning units have circuit boards and electronics that are highly sensitive to current changes. When a power surge hits, it is possible for your furnace or air conditioner to malfunction or even blow out. The equipment could become overheated, which creates the potential for a fire.

As a power surge runs through the home’s electrical system and plugged in devices, some power escapes, which causes arcing. The overheating damages components within heating and cooling equipment, commonly affecting the system’s capacitor and contactor. System wiring is frequently melted or shows marks from arcing and overheating.

Repair costs to your heating and cooling system may be extremely expensive. In some cases, it costs less to replace your furnace or air conditioning unit versus the repairs required to correct damage from a surge.

Protect Your HVAC System

The best defense for your heating and cooling system against a power surge and the costly damage they cause is whole home surge protection. A whole house surge protector absorbs excess electricity, channeling it into your home’s grounding wire. This device connects directly to your electrical panel and protects your entire home from any surges that occur, including lightning strikes and power surges from within the house.

Defense Against Power Surges from Estes Services

Keep your home and HVAC system safe from lightning strikes and other surges. Call Estes Services today to find out your options for a whole house surge protector. We inspect your heating and cooling system and determine the right solutions that offer effective protection from power surges.