With cold weather even freezing temperatures on the way to Greater Houston, electronics specialists are reminding the public to prepare for the possibility of power outages and electrical surges.
With many working from home, these steps can save some big-time money and headaches.
1. Invest in good surge protector power strips
One electronic recommend buying a surge protector for appliances to protect from being damaged in the event of an electrical surge. Falling ice and falling branches could fall on power lines making this hazard possible, especially in cold temperatures.
“Things can stop working instantaneously. Surge protection power strips are your standard home surge protection here... You can put them in and around your house. They each have joule ratings--the larger your joule rating, the larger of a surge that it can take,” said Michael Smith, a specialist with Altex Computers & Electronics in Jersey Village.
You also might want to replace them every three to five years, according to Best Buy electronics specialist Angelica Fonseca.
”Over time in Houston as your surge protector protects your appliances blast, after the blast, it eventually gets tired,” said. “If your power strip is older than three years, I would start thinking about replacing it promptly.”
2. Invest in a back-up battery
A back-up battery can keep important appliances running even in a power outage. Batteries come with many different options that can determine how long they can keep your appliances powered for, so don’t hesitate to do your research.
”As soon as the power goes out, it keeps [your appliance] up and running so you can shut it down safely or save your work,” Smith said. “It allows you to save your documents, quickly finish up your work, shut down your stuff before it gets damaged and save yourself a lot of money.”
3. Back up your important work
Experts suggest backing up photos, documents, and files ahead of time. This way in the event that the files are damaged or destroyed, you still have copies in a safe place.
4. Unplug unnecessary appliances
Experts also say to unplug unnecessary appliances such as washers and dryers. Appliances you do not need to have plugged in and don’t want to get ruined in the event of a power surge in your area.
5. When in doubt of what you might need to buy--ask.
“You spend a lot of money on your equipment. You want to keep them safe,” Smith said. “Our team is ready to help you with whatever questions you may have.”
Altex Computers & Electronics
18670 Northwest Freeway
Houston, TX 77065