An inconsistent power supply is a common issue witnessed in most parts of India. These recurrent power voltage fluctuations can cause severe damage to your electrical appliances such as AC, TV, refrigerator, and so on. A voltage drop can increase the current supply to the device, which can burn its circuit.
These surges and spikes in power may be caused by anything. It can either be due to lightning or power switching on the lines, clashing of power lines, and more. Hence, most households use voltage stabilizers to safeguard their appliances. A stabilizer senses the voltage fluctuations beforehand and stabilizes/boosts them as required.
Selecting the right stabilizer for your appliance is critical. It would help if you considered several crucial factors such as power consumption, nature of the application, level of voltage fluctuation, etc. In this guide, we have mentioned all the essential elements that you need to select a suitable stabilizer for your AC, TV, and refrigerator.
How to select voltage stabilizer for my AC, TV & Refrigerator?
The first thing you need to do when selecting voltage stabilizer is to ascertain your power needs. For that, you need to check the power rating, current, and voltage of the devices you intend to use. The details are often mentioned on the specification sticker, or you can find them in the user manual.
For instance, the electric supply in India for most residential applications is usually 220-240V (50 Hz frequency), with most household plugs are designed for 220 volts.
Calculate the maximum power
Multiply Standard Service Voltage with Max rated current of all the equipment you want to connect to the stabilizer. Then, add a safety margin of around 20 to 25 per cent to keep up with the stabilizer rating. Also, don’t forget to include the surge current that flows when you turn on a device.
Calculate the sum of total power need to be consumed in watts. For example, 1-ton 3-star air conditioners in India use around 1090W per hour. The higher current used in a 1090W air conditioner is 5 amp.
Read also: Difference between 3 star AC and 5 star AC
Since stabilizer sizes are in VA or KVA, you need to convert them into watts to know the actual power load.
For a ballpark figure, if the sum of devices (watts) connected to your stabilizer is 1500 (plus adding 20 per cent safety margin), then you can go for a 1500 VA or 1.5 KVA.
Note: 20 per cent safety margin is ideal only on a residential home, not for commercial spaces.
Check your voltage fluctuation in your locality
Power fluctuations can heavily differ among locations. If your area faces extremely low/high voltage fluctuations, then you may need to go for a stabilizer with a wide working range.
If you are not aware of the quality of voltage flow in your home, you can hire a power quality monitoring service (PQM). It is a process where all your power units are measured, including voltage, power factor, and voltage. PQM service gathers and analyzes your home’s electricity measurement data and informs you of any upgrades or modifications.
Features to look in a Voltage Stabilizer
Below are some of the essential features of a reliable voltage stabilizer
Indicators in stabilizers indicate whether the input supply is low, high, or average. Most stabilizers come with both red and green LED lights. If the Green LED is ON, that means the input supply voltage is nominal. In other words, the output is equal to the input. If both Green and Red lights are ON, the input supply is either too low or high, and the unit is in rectifying mode. Only RED indicates an inadequate power supply. It’s an essential feature that you must ensure to have in your stabilizer.
It is a new-age technology that safeguards the compressor of your air conditioners, refrigerators, etc., from a short-duration power cut. Traditional stabilizers take some time to restart after a power cut. This can be bad for your appliance when they are exposed to a sudden input of power. The time delay system enables the stabilizer to automatically restarts within microseconds as soon as the power comes back, allowing enough time for your appliances to balance the current flow.
Each stabilizer comes unit is rated for handing an optimum limit of power. When the power load exceeds beyond that, the stabilizer starts to become inefficient. Overload can lead to disastrous effects such as fire hazards and heating of the transformer. Stabilizers with overload protection automatically switch off your appliances when it detects a power surge.
A digitized stabilizer is more reliable and provides accurate readings. Apart from improved accuracy, they also adapt themselves to a specific device. Most of these digitized stabilizers can easily be used in different devices, unlike conventional stabilizers.
Since a stabilizer is an electrical appliance, you need to keep it away from exposure to water. You can also place the stabilizer on a higher level to keep it safe. The best choice is to pick up a wall-mount option, which not only is risk-free but also saves you unnecessary space.
Not all digitized stabilizers are adaptable. You may still have to buy a device-based voltage stabilizer to get optimum results and safety. These stabilizers are engineers keeping in mind the specific power consumption.
Specially-engineered stabilizers to choose for:
- Air conditioners
- Digital stabilizers for LED/LCD TV and music systems
- CRT TV and music systems
- Washing machine
- Microwave oven and treadmills
Unstable voltage can cause series of damages or develop malfunctions in your valuable devices. Besides, it can also affect their service life by creating small circuit damages over time. A high-quality voltage stabilizer can help you prevent all these damages, thereby keeping your maintenance costs to a minimum.
FAQs on How to Select Voltage Stabilizer
Do voltage stabilizers consumed a lot of electricity?
While stabilizers won’t dramatically increase your utility bills, their power consumption differs as per their efficiency. Most stabilizers offer 95 to 98 per cent efficiency, consuming only 2 to 5 per cent of the maximum load. Meaning, if you have a 1000VA stabilizer, it will consume only 50 watts of electricity in peak load. If you keep a 1000VA stabilizer running for 10 hours, it will consume around 0.5 units of power.
Do the latest models of TV/ air conditioners and refrigerators need stabilizers?
Most modern appliances come with SMPS, which helps with voltage management. Although it allows you to run a TV during a low voltage, it cannot safeguard it from a power surge. Therefore, you may still have to use a voltage stabilizer to prevent lightning or other types of voltage spikes scenarios from damaging your TV, refrigerator, or AC.