I’m going to be clear from the offset here – this post is mainly for those who work from home. That doesn’t just mean you work at home full time – but also if you work from home occasionally, or have a machine hooked up to your home power that you work on. At this time of year, our homes use an average of 260 kWh extra power over the month, which (apart from racketing up your energy bills) will have a significant effect on your home electrics. Most homes will start experiencing higher rates of power surges at this time of year, and while this might just be an inconvenience for some and others might not even notice, you’ll start to feel the pressure if you run your business from home. So how can you protect your home from power surges?
What Is A Power Surge?
A power surge is defined as a fast, temporary spike in voltage within an electrical circuit. Your home is full of devices that are susceptible to power surges. From your computer to your dishwasher, anything connected to the mains power is at risk of disruption caused by power surges. Any device containing a microprocessor is especially vulnerable, as these tiny digital components are o sensitive that even a 10-volt fluctuation could disrupt proper functioning. Microprocessors are found in thousands of household items big and small, including TV’s, phones, computers, microwaves, washing machines and fridges.
External Surges: External power surges are caused by issues outside of your home, and are most often outside of your control. External surges are usually caused by trees touching power lines, lightning strikes or small animals interfering with your transformers. These surges can also happen when the power comes back on after a power cut, sometimes via your phone, TV or Internet lines.
Internal Surges: More than half of all household power surges are caused by internal electrics. Every time you plug something new in or turn something on, the voltage spikes slightly. But sometimes that spike is a lot higher, especially if the circuit is overloaded with devices. The most common causes are devices with motors starting up or shutting down, fridges, air conditioners, hair driers, power tools and electric lights are culprits too.
Small surges in power might happen dozens of times a day, but they leave no outward evidence or outward disruption, so you might not even notice they’re happening. But bigger surges can fry circuits, trip fuses or destroy the electronics in question. It’s quite similar to running a hose on high and blocking the end – the water pressure will build up and burst the hose. The same thing happens when you have too much power or electrical pressure running through a wire, and the results can be catastrophic.
How Do Surge Protectors Work?
Unfortunately there is no way to stop the surges themselves from happening, so instead there is a really simple way to protect your electronics against power surges. A standard surge protector will either look like a plug adaptor to attach to your sockets, or an extension lead that allows you to protect multiple devices at once. The surge protector passes the electrical current along from the outlet to the electrical devices plugged into it. If the voltage from the outlet surges or spikes, the surge protector will divert the excess electricity into the outlets grounding wire, protecting your electronics from damage. Surge protectors are a cheap and easy way to ensure that your devices won’t suffer any damage from power spikes or surges, and are a absolute must for any business using computer equipment.
If you aren’t sure if your home business needs a surge protection system or if you don’t know which to buy, get in touch today for some free professional advice, or drop by for a chat and a mince pie.