Safeguard your home against lightning damage
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Summer storm season is on the way, so it's time to take steps to protect your home against lightning damage.
Ted Puzio, the owner of Southern Trust Home Services, a leading HVAC, plumbing and electrical company in Roanoke, Virginia, recommends taking action to safeguard your home and property against lightning before the summer season hits. Making a home more lighting resistant helps reduce the environmental impact of waste from damaged appliances and rebuilding after a fire.
"There's no good way to prevent or totally avoid a lightning strike," Puzio said. "There are, however, some things homeowners can do to minimize the damage caused by lightning and protect both themselves and their property in the process."
Puzio offered the following advice for protecting a home and property from the catastrophic damage that can result from a lightning strike:
Consider a lightning protection system. A lightning protection system is a network of low-resistance paths, such as copper and aluminum cables designed to channel the current of a strike swiftly into the ground. Without such a system, a strike can more freely jump from one part of a house to another, destroying structural items such as the roof, a chimney and more. These systems also usually include arrestors, devices designed to prevent dangerous currents from entering the home over cable, telephone and power lines and destroying appliances and electronics.
Complete home surge protectors can be installed. Keeping your smart and connected home electronics safe with surge protector strips is a great idea, but a whole-home surge protector does make the task easier. These protectors allow homeowners to simply plug electronics and appliances into regular outlets and still have the peace of mind that they are protected from dangerous voltage spikes that can be caused during storms.
Protect heating and cooling equipment. HVAC systems can be easily destroyed by a lightning strike, so homeowners need to exercise caution as storms arrive to avoid an extremely expensive equipment replacement. Checking the grounding for the electrical system is the first step. High-end surge protectors can add a layer of defense as well, but the best bet is to simply not use the air conditioner during a storm. Typically, the temperature will decrease during a storm, so any slight change in comfort can be overlooked in favor of keeping the HVAC unit safe until the weather clears up.
"It's true that lightning strikes can't be prevented, so we just urge you to prepare your home for such a scenario," Puzio said. "A lightning protection system and a whole-home surge protector are great first steps because they are virtually unnoticeable and require little maintenance, but when in doubt, always unplug valuable electronics and turn off any major appliances like an HVAC unit until the storm blows over."