If last summer was any indicator of what we could see this year, it’s no wonder people have been more concerned with their power usage than ever before. But why does the power go out when it’s hot? And is there anything you can do about it?
What causes blackouts in summer?
There are two main reasons why you could lose power in heatwaves.
1. The Grid is Overworked
While utility companies blamed the heat and poor planning for California’s massive loss of power in the summer of 2020, the recent cold snap in Texas helps us paint a more complete picture. The fact is: our energy grid wasn’t built to handle the strain we put on it.
According to Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, the current grid was built in the early 1900s. Since then, incremental improvements and upgrades have been made, but not on a large scale. In fact, approximately 70% of the grid in use today is over 25 years old.
What does this mean? It means that our electrical grid can’t supply the energy that 21st century Americans demand.
2. You’re Using More Appliances
The second reason for brown and blackouts is on a more individual level: we use more appliances than usual during a heatwave.
Blasting the air conditioner, turning on fans to create a breeze, running your pool equipment — it would be one thing if your home were the only household using all these appliances. But that’s hardly ever the case. Tripped breakers and overloaded circuits can quickly become everyone’s problem when it’s happening on a large scale.
How to Avoid Summer Electrical Problems
There’s no sure-fire way to prevent power brownouts or blackouts, but using energy conservatively during heat waves can reduce the chances. Follow these tips to save energy this summer:
- Turn off appliances and electronics that aren’t in use
- Set the thermostat higher
- Run your dishwasher at night
- Never plug an extension cord into another extension cord
Got air conditioning problems? Need an electrical upgrade? The heating, cooling, and electrical experts at A-TEMP Heating, Cooling & Electrical have got you covered! Contact us online or by phone at (503) 694-3396 to learn how we can make you smile today.