You've plugged your mobile phone in to recharge close to your television and notice that when a call comes there's static interference on your TV screen. Not only can that be annoying, but you also may wonder whether or not this kind of static interference can cause any problems in the long run. With the number of complex electronic devices in our homes increasing, there are bound to be times when they might interfere or interact with each other.

electrical tower with blue skies

Most of us experience some type of electromagnetic interference on a fairly regular basis. We may also have questions about static electricity and whether it can be any harm to our electronics. This article takes a look at common static problems and how to troubleshoot them to keep your equipment safe and secure.

The Knowhow

Static noise or electromagnetic interference (EMI) can be generated from many different sources...poor grounding, bad connections, internal PC components, etc and is generally temporary.

Static electricity or electrostatic discharge (ESD) gives you the kind of zap you remember as a child when you scuffed your feet on a rug and ran to discharge it on your sibling. However fun that was, this kind of charge can actually be destructive to computer chips and other sensitive equipment and can cause permanent damage if not handled carefully.

Static interference and your appliances

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) involves equipment receiving interference from an outside source, like another nearby electrical device, cables or piece of equipment.

You might have noticed it when you put your mobile phone on the desk near your desktop and hear a static "beeping" noise in your speakers when a call comes through. Or perhaps when you dial a number on the wireless telephone at home and then hear the number being dialled on your baby monitor as well. Or it can take the form of feedback/white noise on your speakers when your laptop is connected to another device. Smart phones occasionally transmit bursts of data that can sound like static.

When EMI occurs, your device may experience a surge in the amount of electricity that is provided to it. EMI can be controlled through the use of coated cables or through noise filters that stand alone or are incorporated into an uninterruptible power supply.

Sometimes appliances can cause interference on your television reception. You can check to see if it's coming from inside the house by shutting off circuit breakers while someone is watching the picture on the TV. Appliances that can easily cause interference on TV's are electric blankets, microwaves, dryers, or popcorn poppers.

The easiest solution is often to move these devices further away from your computer or television and keep them on separate plugs. Keep your wireless headset away from other wireless items and speakers as far away from other components

Static electricity and your electronics

Static electricity (ESD) may seem like simple child's play, but sometimes it can definitely hurt sensitive electronic items including desktops and laptops even though it doesn't do you any personal harm. There are several ways to combat this kind of static.

Get rid of dust

Dust and dry air can increase dust build-ups that lead to static electricity and can cause computers to overheat. Dust can cause a charge that you may not even be aware of until a component behaves erratically. For example, you may not even know that you zapped your modem and made it stop working.

Regular cleaning of your computer's keyboard, case, and components must be done with a damp cloth, compressed air or a non-static vacuum, Always unplug your equipment first and do not use your household vacuum cleaner as it also creates a charge.

Keep screens clean

Avoid using glass cleaner on your TV or computer screens, as the chemicals they contain can cause damage. After unplugging your machine, a wipe down with a soft lint-free cloth and specialist screen cleaner.  For more information click on the link below:

How to clean an LCD, LED or Plasma TV

Keep the humidity up

Higher humidity in the home can actually be helpful to reducing static. As central heating tends to make the air very dry, try placing a live plant near your desk to help keep static levels down.

Stay grounded

A good way to make sure your appliances are protected from electrical surges or static caused by lightning strike is to use a surge protector.

Keeping your electronic items a respectful distance from each other will also help to keep you from getting zapped when you least expect it!

Updated On:

Apr 09, 2013

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