The number of high-tech electronics in the average home has grown considerably in the past few decades. Once upon a time, surge protection was really only something you needed if you had invested in a big-screen TV. Today, the number of electronics using printed circuit boards has skyrocketed, and includes things like your home phone and even your HVAC system. Power surges can be caused by anything from a lightning strike, to issues with the power grid. These surges can be devastating, even a small surge can cause irreparable damage to sensitive electronic systems.
The Problem for HVAC Systems
Once, HVAC systems were mostly mechanical in nature, with few electronic parts. Today, that’s not the case, particularly with higher efficiency, newer models. The problem with power surges is that you have no way to determine just how much damage one will do to your equipment. Large surges of power can be extremely devastating, causing immediate failure (and damage that cannot be repaired easily). In many cases, HVAC units damaged by power surges must be replaced, rather than repaired.
While your unit might survive a surge and seem to work just fine, there can be hidden damage. Over time, this damage (think of it as additional wear and tear) will compromise your unit and result in premature failure. Obviously, that’s not a good thing, especially with equipment as expensive and vital as your HVAC system.
What Can You Do?
While there is nothing you can do to prevent power surges from happening, there are a few things you can do to protect your HVAC system as well as the other valuable electronics in your home. For instance, having a whole-home surge suppressor installed at the main breaker box will help prevent excess power from being a problem (particularly for things like your HVAC system that are tied directly into the power line rather than using an outlet). For other systems, purchasing individual surge suppressors/protectors and using them at each outlet is a good idea.
If you’re concerned that your HVAC system is unprotected from devastating power surges, contacting an expert, reputable HVAC service professional to assess your system and its level of protection is vital. With an expert dedicated to ensuring your system is protected, you can gain peace of mind and make sure your investment lasts as long as possible.