Do I Need a Surge Protector?
The holiday season is upon us, and many homeowners have spent the last couple weekends climbing ladders or scaling porch roofs to set up the perfect festive display. And what home’s holiday decorating is complete without those bright and cheerful twinkly lights? With all the extra wires plugged in this month, it’s a good time to think about the safety of your home’s electrical equipment. Did you know the average home gets hit with 20+ energy spikes a day? A panel surge protector is a quick, easy way to prevent damage from power surges. But, do you really need to purchase one? Know the facts, so you can decide for yourself.
Power Surge 101: Causes and Effects
A power surge is a sudden burst of electricity that lasts only a fraction of a second but can still contain thousands of volts. Many people associate them with lightning – and it’s true that a lightning strike up to a mile away can cause damage to electronic equipment inside your home – but there are actually a lot of causes, including:
- Faulty wiring
- Downed power lines
- Electrical repairs
- Major appliances cycling on and off
- Electrical deliveries at utility companies
So, how do these power surges affect you? Think about everything in your home that uses your electric circuit board… your TVs, refrigerator, computer, but also major equipment like your cooling system and water heater. Basically, anything you own that requires electricity could be damaged or destroyed by a power surge… sometimes not until weeks or months after the surge has happened.
How Panel Surge Protectors Work
It’s really pretty simple. Electricity likes to follow the path of least resistance. A panel surge protector is hardwired to your electrical panel so that it can divert that volatile surge and redirect it safely into the ground outside – before it ever has a chance to enter through your home’s wiring.
Don’t Power Strips Act as Surge Protectors?
Tricky question. The short answer is that, yes, sometimes they can – but with limited capacity. The level of protection power strip surge protectors offer is limited because a surge can travel along any wire. That means the dangerous jolt of electricity could enter your home via your phone or cable lines, threatening your modem, computer, satellite system and more.
Power Your Way to More Savings
The obvious cost-savings associated with surge protection is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars potentially replacing destroyed electronics. However, there are some more immediate financial perks, too. For instance, many insurance companies give discounts for homes that have a professional surge protection solution in place. Additionally, a panel surge protector can increase the life of your electronic appliances and equipment by as much as 30%, meaning you can get a lot more use out of items you’ve already paid for.
Have more questions about your home’s electrical usage and safety? Contact Blind & Sons.