How Power Outages Can Cause Issues in Your Home

lightning strikes during a storm in a residential neighborhoodIn the later summer to early fall months, the weather often becomes less predictable. Thunderstorms can pop up without warning, which can often leave homeowners without electricity. While a power outage that only occurs for a few minutes is usually nothing more than a minor inconvenience for most homeowners, a prolonged outage can spell trouble for your home.

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In this article, we’ll share some ways a power outage can negatively impact your home, and we’ll tell you how John Betlem Heating & Cooling, Inc. can help you weather any storm!

Power outages can cause problems all throughout your home.

As we mentioned above, in many instances power outages only last a few minutes and cause small inconveniences, like the internet being out for a brief period. But during a prolonged outage, there are certain instances where expensive damages can occur, some of which may even pose a safety hazard for you and your family. Here are five things you should be on the lookout for when the power goes out for an extended period of time:

  1. Appliances: Many of today’s appliances use microcomputers to operate, and are much more sensitive to fluctuations in voltage. As such, you’ll likely want to unplug any major appliances (i.e. washer, dryer, microwave) until the power comes back on.
  2. Fridge & Freezer: When the power is out for more than an hour or two, it can cause the food in your refrigerator or freezer to go bad. Generally speaking, perishables are safe in the fridge for 24 hours, and in the freezer for 36 hours, if you keep the door closed. If you’re not sure of your food’s safety, you should throw it out.
  3. Sump Pumps: Some homes use a sump pump to keep water out of the basement. During an outage, your sump pump can’t operate. If your sump pump is inoperable and your basement floods, it can cause a dangerous situation. Don’t use any appliances, outlets, or fuse boxes until they’ve been evaluated by an electrician.
  4. Medical Equipment: If someone in your household uses medical equipment that relies on electricity to operate, you need a backup power supply, such as a generator. That way, your loved one will not be without vital treatment if a prolonged outage occurs,
  5. Furnaces & Air Conditioners: Most modern air conditioning systems and furnaces use mini computers, and they have components that can be damaged by the power surges that often occur at the end of an outage. As such, it’s usually a good idea to turn off any HVAC equipment when the power goes out, or purchase a surge protector for this equipment.

Is a brown-out different than a black-out?

During a brown-out, the power in your home does not go completely out. Instead, you’ll notice that the lights seem dim. Appliances may operate, but you may notice an unusual sound or low humming instead of the sound they normally make during operation. Electricity is still flowing into your home, but at a lower volume than usual. Brown-outs can cause a lot of problems with sensitive items like computers and laptops, so to be on the safe side, you should unplug them.

Can John Betlem help me during a power outage in my home?

At John Betlem, we take the comfort of our customers very seriously, no matter what the weather. That’s why we work hard to provide you with the best quality equipment for your home, including generators by Honeywell and surge protectors built to protect your big-ticket equipment. To learn more about how we can help keep your home comfortable and safe during an outage, simply give us a call at (585)271-8888 and we will be happy to help you.