Posts Tagged ‘Surge Protection’

How Whole House Surge Protection Works

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Damage from electrical surges is more common than people often realize. A lightning strike, a downed power line, or an accident at a power plant can result in large surges that can seriously damage appliances in a home and shut down the power. But these large-scale surges are only one type of power surge. There is a more insidious kind that can occur on a daily basis without a homeowner noticing it. Cumulatively, these smaller surges can end up inflicting as much damage on household appliances as the more catastrophic surges associated with storms and other disasters.

Power strips connected to outlets provide one layer of protection from power surges, but they are often not enough. If your home experiences frequent surges, or if you are concerned about protecting your valuable precision electronics, contact HB Energy Solutions and ask us about surge protection for a New Hampshire home. We can install a whole-house surge protector that goes to the next level of guarding your home from the damages of power surges.

What whole-house surge protection is

The small surges that can cause trouble for a home usually occur when a powerful appliance—a refrigerator, an air conditioner, etc.—abruptly makes a large demand on the electrical system, causing an imbalance and subsequent energy surge. You might notice this when the lights briefly flicker as the appliance comes on. These guttering lights are a good sign that you would benefit from the installation of a whole-house surge protector.

Professional electricians connect a surge protector into the home’s electrical panel. Unlike power strips, which simply cut off the power when excessive voltage tries to move through them, a whole-house surge protector diverts the power down through a home’s grounding power line. Each time the surge protector detects anything higher than 120 volts (the standard voltage for U.S. homes) moving through the control panel, it moves the energy safely away. This means that your home has protection from smaller surges without you needing to constantly reset switches.

The whole-house surge protector will also guard against lightning strikes and other major power spikes, although it may need to be reset. A warning light on the protector will inform you when it needs to be reset, so be sure to check on the system after your home experiences any large surge.

Even after you have a whole-house surge protection system installed, you should still keep your point-of-use protectors for your computers and other important appliances: it never hurts to have a second line of defense when it comes to valuable electronics.

At HB Energy Solutions, we not only offer residential whole-house surge protection in New Hampshire, but also surge protection for businesses.

Call our team of trained and certified electrical technicians to find out about all the electrical services we can provide for your home or workplace.

The Advantages of Whole-House Surge Protection

Friday, June 27th, 2014

Power surges are sometimes an everyday occurrence in homes, a fact that people can find hard to believe. Because the term “power surge” comes pre-packaged with images of downed power lines, lightning strikes, and massive storms, people usually make the connection between a power surge in a home with catastrophic events.

But a power surge is any increase in voltage in an electrical system above normal that lasts for more than 3 nanoseconds. (Less than 3 nanoseconds and it’s known as a power “spike.”) This jump in power can happen because a large appliance in a home makes a sudden larger demand on the power supply, causing an imbalance that raises voltage. This may not trip circuit breakers, but it can cause damage to a home and its appliances.

When it comes to guarding your house from surges both large and small, you should invest in a whole-house surge protector installed with the help of electrical professionals. Contact HB Energy Solutions to speak to one of our staff members regarding surge protection in Southern Vermont.

Why whole-house surge protection?

We recommend that homeowners use power strips (point-of-use surge protectors) for computers, entertainment systems and other precision equipment, but not to rely on them entirely. These strips provide a level of defense against surges that shuts off the power flow to the device when an increase in voltage occurs. However, they do not provide the protection from both extreme and small surges that you will receive from a whole-house protector.

A whole-house surge protector is hard-wired into your electrical panel, where it re-routes increases in power into a home’s grounding. This makes them more effective at protecting a home than power strips that simply cut off current when surges occur. The smaller surges will make it through power strips, causing damage to computers and other appliances in amounts that will cumulatively become ruinous. Larger surges, such as those from a lightning strike, will overcome these defense and cause serious damage. A whole-house surge protector can handle both: regulating small surges and capable of handling enormous ones (except perhaps a lightning bolt striking right next to your home) without permitting damage to your property or equipment.

When it comes to shielding your home from electrical damage and defended your high-precision equipment and computer hard drives and SSDs, you can never have too much surge protection. Along with your power strips (which are also a safe way of increasing the number of outlets in your home) call an electrical contractor to wire a whole-house surge protector.

We will keep your home safe all year long, and we’re always a call away any time of the day or night.

HB Energy Solutions has 22 years of experience providing Southern Vermont with surge protection and other electrical services. Call us today to find out what we can do for your home.

It’s Not Just Lightning! Causes of Power Surges

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Power surges are both inconvenient and potentially damaging to your house and possessions. They can cause a loss of power in your home, and will inflict injury on appliances—particularly complex devices like computers and home entertainment systems. You want to do as much as you can to protect your home and possession from surges along the power lines.

It’s a popular misconception that power surges are only catastrophic events that occur because of storms and downed power lines. These will indeed cause surges—but there are other, more common causes. And power surges don’t have to be major events; they can occur numerous times during a day without you noticing them. To help guard against these surges, contact our technicians in all things electrical in Southern Vermont at HB Energy Solutions.

What causes power surges?

  • Catastrophic events: We’ll start with the most obvious ones. Lightning storms can cause massive overloads when a bolt strikes near a power line. A lightning bolt can boost electrical pressure by millions of volts, and that’s enough to overpower almost any system—as well as local plug-in surge protectors.
  • Electrical demand from high-powered appliances: Lightning is one of the less common causes of power surges. The most common is from sudden demands on your power from a large system like an air conditioner or a refrigerator. When one of these appliances makes a large power demand, it upsets the steady voltage flow of the system. You may barely notice this (a slight dimming of lights), but it will cause cumulative damage to other appliances throughout your home.
  • Faulty wiring: When you experience a more severe power surge (one not due to a storm) leading to an outage, the cause could be trouble with the wiring somewhere in your home. This is a serious problem because of the potential for fire damage, so contact an electrician to see where the faults are and have the necessary re-wiring done.

Whole-house Surge Protection

You should definitely have power strips for your important devices, such as your computer. However, you need to have extra protection from surges, and only whole-house surge protectors in your breaker boxes and circuit panels can do the full job. You will need electricians to install this for you. For electrical services in Southern Vermont, trust to the over two decades of experience at HB Energy Solutions.

Bellows Falls VT Electrical Guide: How Surge Protection Protects Your Home

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Your Bellows Falls VT home is filled with devices attached to and drawing power from the electrical system. You probably have components in place to protect certain devices, such as your computer and television from power surges, but what about the rest of your home? Power surges can occur at any time and they can have a direct, negative impact on your major appliances and even the wiring in your house.

 Why Surge Protection Is Necessary

A power surge occurs when a larger than normal volume of electricity courses through the wires within a circuit. Normally, your home is protected against such surges. Fuses are designed to blow out if the current gets too strong and circuits breakers are designed to trip. But in certain circumstances, surges can occur anyways.

They can occur during electrical storms with a lot of lightning flashes. They can occur when there are interruptions to the power entering your home, especially if it goes on and off frequently. They can even happen simply because of a hiccup in a transformer supplying your home with power.

Protecting Your Home and Appliances

The wiring in your home is not designed to handle sudden surges of electricity, especially not if they happen often. It can damage and fray the wiring and eventually lead to power loss or even an increased risk of fire. Your appliances will be damaged even quicker as the sensitive circuitry and electronic component inside can be broken by a sudden surge of excess electricity.

For all these reasons, it is recommended that you have a whole house surge protector for your Bellows Falls VT home. These devices stop these large surges of electricity from entering your wiring, stopping them at the circuit breaker and preventing shorts in things like your air conditioner or heating system. Contact HB Energy Solutions today to learn more about what these devices can do.