When the lights go out at your house, work, or favorite hangout spot, it’s probably not because you forgot to pay your bill. It’s just a sign of things to come. Power outages are becoming more frequent as more people rely on electricity rather than natural gas or oil for heat, cooking and lighting. If you’re like most people in the 21st century, you probably have little experience with a power outage lasting longer than half an hour. That will change soon as many places begin instituting practices that we have become accustomed to in the digital age–including smart homes and power outages that last only a few hours.
With the increasing number of homes being built with automatic shut-off security systems and backup generators installed inside them, it’s only a matter of time before we see more instances where our electrical needs are addressed by systems other than traditional utility companies. We can expect this trend to grow even faster going forward as more people realize that relying solely on one company for everything from heating and cooling to security cameras and home surveillance is an enemy to competition and innovation.
As recent events have shown us, there are still some kinks that need working out when it comes to getting our power back when it goes out. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can get your power back quickly before Mother Nature takes her revenge on you for leaving the lights turned off again too long…
What Causes Power Outages?
Power outages can happen for a number of reasons. The most common causes of power outages are:
1. A tree branch falls onto the power lines
2. A natural disaster such as a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake
3. Bad weather
4. Overloaded electrical grids in other countries and states that overload the local grid
5. System overload due to too many devices turning on all at once (not just during an outage)
Be Prepared for an outage
First and foremost, always have a backup plan. Get your family, friends, and neighbors to help by making sure that they know where the nearest power source is in case of an outage. If this sounds difficult or even impossible, make sure you have enough battery-powered devices that can receive wireless signals so that you don’t need to worry about a corded phone while the power is out.
Next, consider getting an automatic shut-off security system installed in your home–just make sure it has battery backup. This will ensure that when you’re out of power for more than a few hours, the lights stay on in your home (so you can see) and the furnace kicks on to keep your living area at a comfortable temperature.
Don’t Leave Your Devices Charged When the Power Comes Back On
You might be tempted to plug in your devices when the power comes back on so you can keep doing what you were doing before the outage. Don’t do it! If you left your devices plugged in while the power was out, they will charge up again and be ready for use when power is restored. If you do this, however, those devices will put a strain on your electric system, which could lead to another outage.
A better solution would be to unplug everything and then plug them in after a few minutes–enough time for all of the batteries to get charged up again.
Check your breaker box and see what tripped to cause the outage
One of the most important things to remember is that you need to check your breaker box. If you know what tripped, you can easily reset it and get your power back on. You can also see what the current capacity of your breaker box is. This will give you an idea of how many amps are going through your circuit when the power goes out, allowing you to precisely determine if the outage was short or long-lived. It’s also a good idea to check how much electricity each outlet uses so that you know exactly how much juice your surge protector needs.
If it’s an emergency, call 911 before checking anything else.
Reset your thermostat to increase demand during power outage
One of the best ways to get your power back quickly is by resetting your thermostat. Set it a few degrees higher than normal and watch as your furnace kicks on, increasing demand on the generators you may have installed in your home. This will prevent any potential issues with equipment from failing to function and keep you from having to endure a week-long power outage.
Install a smart home device such as a smart plug or smart light
Smart home technologies are continually improving and becoming more affordable. You can now get a smart plug to automate your power usage or add some light around the house with a smart light bulb. These devices will allow you to control your power usage in order to save money when the lights go out by turning off all electronics that might be using too much power.
Smart plugs are also especially useful for households with children or pets as they can be programmed to turn on and off at specific times of the day, giving parents peace of mind about their child’s safety at night without having to leave them in front of a screen. Smart plugs are also great for devices like air conditioners which typically run when plugged into an outlet, but not when plugged into a smart appliance like a smart plug. A smart plug is the perfect solution for these kinds of appliances while also saving you some money on your energy bill!
Keep an eye out for weather-related events that could cause power outages too
It may seem like a waste of time to keep an eye out for weather-related events that could cause power outages. But, it’s important for those who rely on electricity because the more you know about the weather, the better prepared you are for the next power outage. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you and your family or friends have at least one backup battery or car charger to keep your electronics running when the power goes out.
When the power goes out, it can be an inconvenience, but it’s also an opportunity to check up on your home.
If you’re one of the many people with smart devices, then you should feel confident knowing your power will come back on when you need it most. Keep your gadgets charged and be mindful of the weather events that could cause power outages.