Home Surge Protectors: Worth It?
For many, home buying or home building is a once a lifetime investment, and for others, it’s a chance that only comes around once every couple of decades. Homeowners and landlords alike have a prerogative to protect their property investments, and that often times includes the decision to install a surge protector. The average homeowner can experience several, albeit minor, power surges every day, but the risk for a larger, more damaging power surge is always present. Consider protecting your home with a surge protector, saving you money on repair costs and keeping your electronics safe.
UNDERSTANDING POWER SURGES
So, what is a power surge, and how is your home at risk? Power surges occur when the flow of electricity is disrupted and restarted, or when additional electric current is sent into your home’s system. A power surge often only lasts a fraction of a second, but has the potential to send hundreds of thousands of volts into your home’s wiring depending on the cause. High-voltage surges can easily destroy your appliances and electronics within the home, as well as existing wiring in your electrical system. The most powerful surges are often caused by lightning strikes, which can send upwards of 200,000 volts throughout your home. Other causes may include a sudden change in electricity such as turning on a hair dryer, nearby electricity fluctuations, and power cycling large appliances.
Luckily, there is a way to help protect your home and appliances from sudden surges in electricity. At a minimum, home surge protectors can help prevent up to 40,000 amps of electricity, and function as a sort of pressure relief valve by transferring excess electricity into the ground wire. Home surge protectors are a common part of an electrician’s repertoire, and can run starting at about $200 plus labor costs. When factoring in the damage that a power surge could cause, it’s a seemingly small price to pay to keep your home, televisions, computers, and appliances safe from damage. You can even purchase separate units designed specifically for phone and cable lines, which can protect phones, fax machines, and any other electronics that function on those circuits.
WHAT IS A SURGE PROTECTOR?
Home surge protectors are just the beginning of keeping your home safe. There is much more you can do, including buying plug-in surge protectors. Often, power strips are just a glorified extension cord, but spending the extra money for that surge protection guarantee can help preserve your appliances and electronics against any excess electricity that your home surge protector can’t handle. Also, many newer appliances are protected against power surges, and you can check for this feature in the item’s specifications.
MORE HELPFUL TIPS
It’s no surprise that home surge protection is becoming a hotter item within homes, as power surges are indeed on the rise. With an aging infrastructure causing disruptions in the power grid and increased amounts of unpredictable weather, its more important than ever to protect your home. Additionally, many people live and work in a technology-oriented environment, more now than ever before. So, when weighing the pros against the cost of extensive repairs and appliance replacement, its almost always worth it to invest in a home surge protector.