Extreme Heat Means Higher Risk of Blackouts

The season for heat waves and extreme humidity is upon us, which means the threat of blackouts couldn’t be greater.  Throughout the United States, people are avoiding the heat by staying indoors, close to their ice-cold air conditioners.  While it is amazing that so many people have access to AC in their homes and businesses, power grids are threatened due to record uses of such appliances. With everybody using more electricity than usual, we are at risk of brownouts and blackouts.  This week, we are going to explain these occurrences and offer recommendations for preventing them and staying protected when they do happen.

In case you are not familiar with the terminology, blackouts and brownouts refer to the different levels of power loss that affect large areas.  A blackout is a full power outage resulting in complete loss of power, usually for a short amount of time.  When this occurs, the power company works hard to get the area back up and running.  A brownout is a sag in voltage which affects different appliances in different ways.  It may be short term or long term, depending on the severity, and intentional or unintentional.  Intentional brownouts are sometimes initiated in order to preserve energy during peak times. Unintentional brownouts may occur when the power grid is strained and the voltage struggles to stay up.

Such power surges are common right now due to summer storms, severe droughts, and especially, heat waves.  When it gets dangerously hot outside, more people turn on their air conditioning and remain indoors using electricity during peak hours. Thus, the power grid becomes strained by the high electricity demand and may fail as a result.  In addition, certain appliances work harder in the heat, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, and freezers. Luckily, these power outages can be prevented.

By being cautious of energy use, people can help prevent a widespread power outage.  You can help the cause by avoiding using large appliances, like laundry machines, during peak hours of the day.  You should also turn off any unneeded lights or appliances. Safety is important so we are not asking that you turn off your AC while home in the heat. Instead, you can turn it off if you will be gone for an extended period of time, or you can go to a designated cooling center in your area.  This is like an air conditioning ‘car pool’.  Cooling centers should have backup generators in order to keep attendees safe and cool even in the case of a power outage.

On the other hand, businesses have a lot of work to do and cannot afford to call off the work day due to extreme heat.  They also cannot afford to lose power. Thus, your company should plan on staying protected in the case of a power outage by investing in a backup generator and power equipment.  With a generator, ATS, UPS, and rectifier, if the power does go out, your backup power will kick on immediately, keeping your business up and running. Systems won’t go down, money and customers won’t be lost, and food won’t spoil.  No matter the industry you are in, backup generators will protect your business. Better to get your backup power equipment now, than when the outage occurs.

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Hurricane season is picking up speed! Join us next Wednesday and learn how to protect your equipment and data in the midst of tropical storms.

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