If you’ve ever searched for ways to lower your electricity bill, chances are that you’ve heard about power factor corrector boxes before. But what is it, exactly? Let’s take a deep dive into the world of power factors and find out.
Before we dive into what a power factor corrector box is, it’s crucial to understand what the “Power Factor” is.
When it comes to electricity, there are actually two types of power: real power and reactive power. Real power (or active power) is the electricity that’s used up when we run our appliances. It’s the type of power that does useful work, such as running the air conditioner, hot water heater, and so on.
Reactive power, on the other hand, refers to the power that is not consumed by appliances but is still necessary for them to properly function. They’re “extra” energy that supports equipment so they can continue to run as required. An example is an air conditioner—it consumes active power to cool the indoor air, but it also needs reactive power to be able to start up and run its components.
Apparent power is related to reactive power, and refers to the total power that’s drawn from an electrical system. Now, the relationship between all three (real power, reactive power, and apparent power) is what’s called the power factor—the ratio between real and apparent power.
We won’t go into too much detail, but a Power Factor of 1 means that the electrical system is using the supplied power without waste. On the other hand, a Power Factor of less than 1 shows that the electrical system is using more electricity than necessary.
Power Factor Correction’s (PFC) main purpose is to reduce the amount of reactive power with the use of power factor corrector boxes. It ensures that your power factor does not fall below a particular number, as suppliers will often charge you more if you don’t meet the minimum. This way, you can lower your electricity bill and ensure that you pay only for the power that you use.
Think about it this way—without PFC, you’d be paying for power you aren’t actively using. However, with PFC, you can spend that money on other matters, such as improving your home, maintaining your HVAC, or installing a new air conditioning unit.
Apart from savings, PFC allows you to extend the life expectancy of your appliances. This is because PFC boxes correct the Power Factor so that appliances aren’t put under unnecessary stress. Furthermore, PFC reduces the risk of overheating, as appliances that operate on a low Power Factor tend to draw excessive current, which can lead to excessive heat over time. Finally, PFC protects against power fluctuations which can damage the electronic components of most appliances.
While it may be tempting to get a power factor corrector box because of the benefits, it should be mentioned that not all homes are suitable for one. In most cases, homes with high power consumption are the most suitable candidates for PFC.
It’s always a good idea to consult with an electrician who can assess your current electrical setup, and determine if PFC is ideal for you. For professional advice, call the experts at Beeson Mechanical Service at 317-535-9338 and our team will examine your system. If PFC is deemed beneficial, we will ensure that it’s correctly sized and properly installed, ensuring its long-term effectiveness and safety.