We’ve all probably been there before: you’re working on something on the computer at home when blam: the power in your apartment goes out. All of a sudden, you’re staring at a blank black screen in front of you.
This can be frightening for many reasons. For one, you probably didn’t yet save that file you were working on. But there’s another even more potentially worrying factor in play: the computer might be damaged and unable to turn back on. This is a reality that far too many computer users eventually face.
Taking preventive measures in preparation for a computer power surge can be smart. Read on and we’ll walk you through a few tips that can help you avoid this unfortunate situation.
1. Understand What A Power Surge Is
A surge occurs in an electrical circuit when the charge of the circuit is increased. This rise in potential energy can increase the current that flows directly into the outlets of your home.
How does this happen? There are a few different potential causes worth being aware of. Commonly, a power surge may be caused by an event outside of your home.
The reason surges happen so much during storms is that lighting might strike a utility unit and greatly increase electrical energy. A tree limb falling onto a power line can have a similar impact. The return of power after an outage can also cause a surge.
There’s a chance you might cause a surge in your own house as well. Ever used a hairdryer and accidentally flip a breaker in your home? That’s a power surge.
An excess amount of electric energy on one circuit can easily cause a surge. Often power-hungry appliances like fridges or A/C units can be at fault for this kind of event.
2. Utilizing Surge Protectors
You are probably familiar with the concept of a surge protector. You might even have a few that you already use in your home. But do you understand what these items do, outside of giving you more room to plug various things in?
Surge protectors do just what their name implies: protect your electronics against surges in the electrical system. A blast of electric energy to your computer, for example, could fry it completely. There is a chance such a thing could occur if you were plugged straight into a wall.
However, a surge protector can sever an electronic connection the moment it detects an excess of electrical power. It works much like the breaker box in your home, flipping itself ‘off’ the moment danger presents itself.
Surge protectors can be purchased just about anywhere and are an essential item to own if you care about the safety of your electronic devices.
3. Invest in an Uninterrupted Power Supply
Really serious about the work you’re doing on the computer? It might be worth making the investment in an uninterrupted power supply unit.
A UPS works similarly to a surge protector, blocking your devices from immediate contact with dangerous electrical increases. However, it has one key difference: it can keep your computer on even after the power goes out.
That’s right, the UPS works as a mini-generator and can keep power to your device even after power in your home or office has gone off. This power is limited, of course, and you’ll probably only be able to stay up and running for about five minutes.
That should give you more than enough time to save what you’re currently working on before your computer will shut down. It’s not an ideal situation, of course, but it’s far better than losing all the work you’ve just been slaving away on.
3. Don’t Overload The Circuit
Remember that example we just gave about the hairdryer? Avoiding that kind of thing is how you can take personal responsibility for the well-being of your electronic items.
Put it this way: the wall outlets in your home have two inputs for a reason. It’s because plugging two many electronics into one circuit can cause the whole thing to go down.
That doesn’t mean you can’t plug in a splitter for more devices. It just means you need to be aware of the wattage of the devices you are plugging in. A large appliance will require a lot more electricity than an iPhone charger, for example. But even plugging in a charger to an outlet that already has two big appliances on it might be enough to throw a breaker.
It’s best to try and be aware of where the circuits are in your house and to distribute power with this in mind. Doing so can help to avoid the threat of internal power surges. If you’re not sure what circuits you have in your house, check the labeling on your breaker box.
The last thing you want to do is set off too strong of an EMP. What’s an EMP? It’s an electromagnet pulse, and it can be dangerous for all the electronics in your home.
4. Maintain Proper Insurance
You can do all you want to help avoid power surge issues in your home. At the end of the day, disaster still might strike. That’s just how life works.
When this moment occurs, it’s best if your insurance on that device is live and current. If the device or the information on it is of great value, this extra precaution can help to ensure you aren’t screwed should the worst occur.
You won’t likely be able to take out insurance on every item you own. But when it comes to things that can truly impact your work or livelihood, it can be well worth the investment.
Protecting Against A Computer Power Surge
Experiencing a computer power surge can be quite shocking and scary, especially if you have important information on the device. Taking the above steps can help to prevent this kind of disaster from occurring in your home or office.
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