Home Improvement Tip: Install a Surge Protector
Take a quick second to think about how many expensive electronic devices you have in your home. Computers, laptops, tablets, phones, televisions and bunches of other devices are plugged in in almost every room in the average American home.
In fact, a recent survey showed the average person in the US spent $998 on electronic devices in 2011 alone! With that kind of money being spent on obtaining the latest technology, the last thing you need is for a power surge to ruin one or more of these pricey gadgets faster than you can blink!
Power surges are very common. Find out what a whole home (or whole house) surge protector can do to ensure you are protected.
What is a Power Surge?
A power surge is a spike in your home’s electrical current. These ultra-fast (less than a second in most cases) can cause major damage to your home’s appliances.
Power surges can be caused by things outside of your home, like lightning strikes or a power line going down. These are two very dangerous examples. Surges inside your home are the ones that are most common, and while less dangerous to you, they can cause the exact same damage to your electronic and electrical devices.
Inside the home, these spikes in electrical current are caused by motors turning on and off, like the motor in your air conditioner or refrigerator. Surges can happen all throughout the day without you even noticing.
These fluctuations of current cause damage to electronic devices as they wind up burning out sensitive circuits inside the devices. It may not happen all at once, but over time these devices and appliances can ultimately be rendered fully inoperational.
Protecting Your Home
A home surge protector does exactly what its name says: it protects your home from power surges. Since they are so important, you may wonder why building codes or your insurance companies don’t require that you have one installed in your home.
The reason for this is that a power surge isn’t classified as a fire hazard. And though they don’t pose a threat of fire to your home, the effects can be equally upsetting if your personal belongings end up getting ruined. The National Fire Protection Association and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety both highly recommend that you have one installed in your home.
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The best whole house surge protector is one that is installed at your breaker panel by an electrician. A second level of protection can still be used, such as a plug in model for your computer.
A surge protector for your whole house can handle surges of up to 40,000 amps of current. To give you an idea of how much protection that is, the usual amps flowing through your home are only between 200 and 300 amps. If a lightning strike or downed wire were to cause a major surge, the surge protector device detects this heightened flow of electrical current and diverts it away from your home through the grounding path.
This level of protection also takes care of those smaller fluctuations like the ones caused by motors that turn on and off throughout the day in your home. These smaller-scale surges won’t have any damaging effects on your appliances and electronics.
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A good whole house surge protector isn’t terribly expensive—and it’s worth the investment when you think of how many thousands you would have to pay to replace your devices should they be damaged or broken.
The average price range is between $180 and $300 for protection for your whole home.
One example is the Lifetime Surge Protector and it sells for $150. This model can protect your home against surges of up to 50,000 amps, detecting and rerouting this extra current in just 25 nanoseconds! Some models of surge protectors need to be replaced if they actually end up having to handle a surge of current. The Lifetime Surge Protector is a bit different in that it can handle these surges over and over again without needing replacement. Installation costs vary but the job is simple for a professional electrician. It’s a small investment that could save you literally thousands!
The bottom line is you have nothing to lose by installing a surge protector for your whole home and you have everything to gain.
Why risk your precious and expensive devices by leaving your home unprotected? Blown transformers, downed wires and lightning strikes do happen. And surges within your home can occur literally hundreds of times per day. Protection against these risks with a surge protector for whole home will give you and your family peace of mind and ensure that you are safe from the possible damages and risks.