As air conditioners have become more complex and high-tech in recent years, power surges have become a greater potential danger for homes all over the country. In times past, homeowners only worried about protecting their TV, computer, or stereo from a power surge. To protect these devices, they would plug the appliance(s) into a surge protector. However, now that furnaces, air conditioners, and other vital home appliances are higher tech, it’s important for you to understand how they could be impacted by a power surge.
What is a power surge?
A power surge is any spike in the electrical current entering your home. Generally, a power surge lasts less than a thousandth of a second, but it has the potential to do a lot of serious and expensive damage in this brief amount of time.
Surges are often mistakenly believed to only be caused by lightning strikes. However, many power surges occur internally within the home. Often, a spike in electricity occurs whenever a home has faulty or inefficient wiring. If you live in an older home that was built with wiring that can’t withstand the electrical needs of modern-day high-tech appliances, simply turning one of the appliances “on” could cause a spike in electricity.
Additionally, a power surge could be caused by something such as a tree branch hitting an electrical line outside your home, debris being blown around on a windy day, or an animal such as a bird or squirrel getting on the line.
Be sure your home’s important appliances are protected since these spikes in electricity can occur without warning, and at any time.
What damage could a power surge do to my air conditioner?
Previously, air conditioners were built using different types of materials. They functioned more mechanically versus electronically, unlike today’s high-efficiency models. A power surge on your modern AC could be devastating and result in a breakdown of the system.
Many times, a spike in electricity could cause hidden problems inside your air conditioner. These are problems that you may not notice for months, such as premature wear and tear on vital internal components. Or, a power surge may cause irreparable damage to your air conditioner, which means you must cover the cost of a replacement unit – even if your unit is relatively new.
How can I protect my air conditioner from a power surge?
To protect your air conditioner and other electronic appliances in your home, you could choose to have a whole home power surge protection device installed as part of your circuit breaker box. These devices work by continuously monitoring the amount of electricity coming into the home. If there’s a change in the current, it’s directed to a grounding device rather than to your appliances. While you will have to pay the expense upfront of having this surge protector installed, it could potentially save you thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs or replacements in the future.
Additionally, you can enroll in the Pivotal Home Solutions Surge Protection Plan. The plan covers residential electronics, electrical systems, appliances, and other electronics valued at $100 or more within your residence that fail due to electrical surges. Subject to the terms and conditions of the plan, you will receive up to $2,000 per annual term for the repair or replacement of covered computers, stereo equipment, heating and cooling systems, and electric appliances, such as refrigerators, washers, or dryers.
Want to learn more?
Give us a call or visit us online to see what home warranty plans are available in your area.