Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Is Your Home Electricity More Unstable in Hot Weather?

We all dread those times in the height of summer when suddenly the air conditioner goes quiet and all the other appliances go off. How long before the power is back on? Is it just here on my block, or is it citywide or, worse, statewide? Losing power can be scary, as we try to plan to save the food in our refrigerators or where to go so our pets and families can stay cool.

Why does our electricity supply become less reliable in hot weather? What can we do about it? Read and learn about hot weather electricity.

Why We Lose Power in the Summer

It makes sense that when there is a great demand for air conditioning and electricity, power stations must work harder to supply it. This puts a strain on power plants, meaning sometimes they must cut back in one area so power can be sent to another, thereby creating rolling blackouts and brownouts.

And then there is the problem with transmission lines. These wires have limited capacity to begin with — capacity goes down the hotter it gets — and also when the lines are transmitting lots of power. What’s more, as the lines heat, the metal conductor in the line expands and the line droops. If the lines reach the ground, they can short out, and then the line can’t carry power.

Once a line is out of service, other lines must try to take up the slack, but then these lines become overloaded too. As these lines carry more power, they begin to lose more power due to heat, perpetuating the cycle of problems when it comes to hot weather electricity.

The lines also lose what is called reactive power. This power on these loaded lines can no longer keep voltages at the designed level. That’s when lights dim and appliances run slower, which damages them.

What You Can Do About Hot Weather Electricity

Although improvements are being made in the grid to deal with these problems, many homeowners are looking out for themselves by buying home generators, either a portable unit or one that’s hardwired into the power supply.

Do you have more questions about hot weather electricity? Contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.