You might be wondering: what is a brown out? It is a state of lowered voltage that happens for a short time (from a minute to several hours). A brownout can also be called a “sag” and is caused by utility companies reducing the voltage of electricity being supplied to avoid a total power outage, commonly referred to as a blackout. The main reason why brownouts occur is to relieve strain when the power grid is overloaded. The first sign of a brownout is dim, flickering lights as the voltage has decreased.
When in a brownout, here are 5 things to do:
1.0Reduce your power consumption
Once you realize that you are experiencing a brownout, it is wise to switch off any appliances that you don’t need. Things such as the television, microwave, washer, and dryer should be put off to reduce the power you are spending. Switching these off could also save you any losses due to a power surge or sudden power loss. Switching off computers can also protect you from losing any valuable data.
During summertime, brownouts are likely to occur due to heat waves and high electricity use as people try to stay cool and comfortable. In such times, brownouts can turn into blackouts and being prepared can really save the day. Preparing for such an eventuality includes keeping alternative lighting such as torches, candles and backup generators on standby, having packed readymade food in the house for such an occasion. Being prepared will help keep you calm and safe through the blackout.
3. Get a power surge protector
A power surge protector is useful to protect your precious electronic gadgets from electric surges that may occur after a brownout or a blackout. Surge protectors come in different types some more advanced than others, some of the more advanced models can cushion you from power sags. A power surge protector will prove to be an excellent addition to your space as it will protect you from surge related losses.
4. Get a Backup
Backing up your power source may not be a cheap endeavor, but it is beneficial and convenient when there is a sag or a blackout. Having to power down during a sag or do without electricity because of an outage can be very frustrating, and inconvenient. Having a backup power generator will save you from losing any work you may have been doing on your computer, and keep you from having to brave the heat of summer without air conditioning. While thinking of backing up your power, you could consider getting an Uninterruptible power supply system specifically for a brownout or a voltage conditioner.
5. Take the time to have some fun
A brownout is inconvenient and disruptive, so it is not unusual to get bored and irritable when the power sags. It is not all bad though; a brownout leaves you with time that you can spend doing something else that you like. You could read a book, walk your dog or meet up with friends and family for some quality bonding time. Take the mandatory power down as a chance to do some of the off-screen things you have wanted to do but haven’t had time to do.
More detailed info about brownouts can be found here.