Mains electricity is something that most people take for granted, and few stop to consider whether there’s more to it than just a power source.
One factor that can have a big impact on our home life is whether our electricity is considered clean or dirty.
Dirty electricity can affect the life and quality of our appliances, but can also have an impact on our health through EMF radiation.
This article looks at the difference between clean and dirty electricity, and the impacts it can have on our health and home life.
What Is Clean Electricity?
Clean power is electricity that comes through an electrical outlet with little or no “electronic noise.”
This doesn’t mean audible noise, although this can be present in some circumstances. Instead it refers to electromagnetic frequencies that lie outside the desired range expected from a power source.
What Is Dirty Electricity?
Dirty power is electricity that has electromagnetic noise, which causes interference with the power supply. This electromagnetic noise can come from external sources, such as power lines, or from sources inside the home. Dirty electricity can then have an effect on the performance of any electronic goods connected to the power supply, but this isn’t always guaranteed.
Clean Vs. Dirty Electricity
Clean electricity is clearly the preferred option out of the two, but isn’t achievable in every home.
If your home has old wiring, or is close to a permanent source of electromagnetic radiation, such as power lines or a cell phone tower, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get completely clean electricity. However, there are some things that can be done to improve the cleanliness of your electricity, and these will be discussed later in the article.
Dirty electricity is quite easy to identify, as it’ll often be the cause of performance issues in many electronic devices, but it’s not always as easy to identify the source.
Sources of Dirty Electricity
Common sources of electronic noise (dirty electricity), both inside and outside the home, include:
- Power lines
- Electric substations
- Motors, not just vehicles, but generators too
- Dimmer circuits for lights
- Fluorescent lighting, particularly strip lighting
- Wireless devices, including WiFi and smart meters
As you can see, there are plenty of sources of electromagnetic interference, and they’re mostly sources of EMF radiation.
Considering many devices on this list are necessary in the home, you have to find alternative ways of dealing with them.
However, if you are able to remove any of them from your home, then do, as this is still the easiest way of reducing the amount of electromagnetic noise. Failing that, you can deal with the issue in very similar ways to reducing the amount of EMF radiation in your home, but some of the most effective methods are discussed later in this article.
What Are The Consequences Of Dirty Electricity?
The most notable impacts of dirty electricity can be seen on any noise-sensitive devices that are connected to your power network.
Many devices will be affected by their proximity to the source of dirty electricity or electromagnetic power, and so you might find that rearranging the location of some of these devices will have a temporary effect until you can arrange a more permanent solution.
For electronic devices such as sound systems and TVs, the biggest impact will be on sound and picture quality.
You might find the electronic noise being picked up as static, both visual and sound, which will be very noticeable. Older TVs are much more likely to be affected, but new models will still show some evidence of electromagnetic interference.
When it comes to other electronic devices, including white goods such as washing machines, dryers, and fridges, their lifespan and performance can be seriously impacted by being connected to a dirty electricity source.
Some components might burn out under the extra pressure, or you might find the system is tripped by voltage spikes.
Then of course there are the impacts on your health. If you’re particularly sensitive to EMF radiation then you’ll likely be familiar with many of these effects, but the frequencies found in dirty electricity can cause the following:
- Sleep issues, including falling and staying asleep
- Mood swings
- Disturbances in brain function
- Weaker immune system
Many of these are linked to the production of a hormone in your body called melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that controls sleep patterns, and by extension mood and energy levels, all of which can be caused by prolonged exposure to EMF radiation.
Exposure to dirty electricity can also cause cells in your body to oxidize, which leads to the build up of free radicals, one of the biggest causes of cancer.
As you can see, dirty electricity is an issue that should be dealt with as soon as possible.
It’s almost impossible to completely rid your home of dirty electricity or electromagnetic noise, but there are definitely things you can do to reduce your exposure.
How many you choose to do depends on how serious you are about fixing the issue, or your overall sensitivity to EMF radiation.
How To Clean Up Your Electricity
Identify Sources Of Dirty Electricity
The first step in solving the issue is to try and identify the source of dirty electricity in your home because this will change how you deal with it.
If it’s an external source, such as a power substation that gives off a large electromagnetic field, then you’ll have to consider bigger ways of dealing with the issue.
However, if it’s an internal source, then your options will be quicker, and usually cheaper. If you’re already adept at dealing with EMF radiation, many of the principles are the same and it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Collect All Sources Near Each Other
If the source is internal, one of the first things you should try and do is collect all “dirty” devices near each other.
Removing dirty devices from outlets near noise-sensitive devices will have a noticeable impact on levels of interference.
Collecting all dirty devices near each other will then also make it easier to block or reduce interference using a device such as a filter.
Get Dirty Electricity Filters
DE filters, and mains filters, are both really easy to find online and will have some effect on the level of electromagnetic noise given out by devices. I recommend Greenwave Filters. Read my review to know why.
All you need to do is plug the device in, preferably as close to the source of dirty power as possible, and then turn it on.
Mains filter strips can be used just like any normal extension cord, and they prevent the dirty electricity from entering back into your circuits.
It’s recommended that you use one specifically for devices such as a TV or sound system, and then a separate one for your computer. The more separate filters you use, the better your chances are of reducing interference.
Test Your Circuits
You should always test your circuits with a detection meter, both before and after trying a solution. You can get a good one here.
This will ensure you’re always aware of how effective a solution has been, and will allow you to keep an eye on how much dirty electricity is present in your home.
This is what the detection meter reads when it detects dirty electricity.
Dirty Electricity From External Sources
If the supply is external, then your methods need to change slightly. If you believe the dirty electricity is coming from your supplier, then installing more whole-house filters will certainly reduce the amount of dirty power entering your system.
If it’s coming from a local external source, such as power lines, then you might want to try something more extreme. A good option is to use EMF shielding paint, which will get the job done, but will also block any other, potentially useful, electromagnetic frequencies from entering the building.
- Typical “safe” levels of dirty electricity are below 100 mV, so anything over this level can be counted as a source of dirty electricity. Use your meter to test all electronic devices in your house before attempting to clean them up.
- Modern electronic devices are typically a greater source of dirty electricity than older ones. A common reason for this is power-saving devices that are installed, so watch out for this when buying any new devices.
- Levels of dirty electricity are going to be higher in built up areas, and will be higher still in high-rise apartment blocks. If you live somewhere like this, expect your base levels to be higher.
- Prevention is better than reaction. Once you know the major sources of dirty electricity, consider altering your buying habits to prevent more dirty electricity from entering your home. This will make management of the issue much easier.
Final Thoughts On Clean Electricity Vs. Dirty Electricity
Clean electricity is something we all desire to have in our homes, not only for our own health, but also for the health and efficiency of our electronic devices.
Although it’s impossible to completely clean up your supply, there are plenty of things that can be done.
By keeping dirty devices separate from clean ones, you’ll at least reduce the issue of interference. And once you’ve identified the major sources, it becomes much easier to deal with the issue.