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  • How Essential is a Whole-House Surge Protector?

    Published on December 3, 2022

    Almost every home has electrical equipment that is vulnerable to power surges, such as laptops, video players, gaming consoles, and kitchen appliances.

    Since the internal components of these electronics require a precise, constant voltage to function properly, abrupt changes in the energy supply might make them malfunction and even cause harm. Such surges frequently happen during violent thunderstorms or situations where there is a partial blackout.

    A power strip surge protector is an easy way to stop them. Some of these are possibly even in use at your house. These serve as a buffer between an electrical outlet and the devices hooked into it, moderating the incoming power.

    These surge protectors, however, can only shield the gadgets that are plugged into them. A whole-house surge protector can be something you want to get if you want to safeguard your entire house from voltage spikes.

    There is no doubt that every household needs home surge protection, but what about whole-house surge protection? How necessary is that? Well, that’s why we are here today. In this article, we will be sharing how essential a whole-house surge protector is for your home.

    What Exactly Does a Whole-House Surge Protector Do?

    Whole-home surge prevention is typically found in homes and other structures with delicate electronics that you would want to shield against damaging power surges.

    It could cost them a lot of money if such types of assets or facilities were to close, and it might also cause customers to have less faith in their brand. They can also be installed in some houses, such as those that have pricey devices or may run a home-based business.

    A whole-house surge protector is an unassuming gray box that requires an electrician to install. It is positioned between the circuit breaker panel in your home and the public power grid. Once triggered, the protector controls the flow of current to all electrical appliances in your home, such as air conditioners and water heaters.

    Whole-home surge protectors shield the entire house from power surges, including your hard-wired appliances and possibly inaccessible items like your furnace, washing, dryer, refrigerator, and other appliances. The homeowner is now much better protected when it comes to some of their most expensive equipment for maintenance or replacement.

    What Types of Electronics are Sensitive to Power Surges?

    A voltage surge can have an impact on almost anything plugged into the power grid, but modern electronics are especially vulnerable. Anything having digital displays, circuit boards, computer boards, or other non-strictly mechanically powered “components” is susceptible to damage from a power surge, according to Haas.

    Although their power supply typically includes a converter to scale the current down to a lower voltage of DC output, the majority of electronics in the United States are built to accept 120 volts of alternating current. Spikes in current that are significantly higher than the recommended 120 volts will put additional strain on those power supplies and possibly the components they power.

    When power-hungry equipment like dryers and air conditioners turn on or off, your home grid may experience brief spikes. Larger surges are frequently caused by broken power transformers or offline substations. Lightning strikes, on rare occasions, can enter electrical cables and generate large voltage spikes. Devices can overheat to the point of starting an electrical fire in the worst-case scenarios.

    You might not immediately notice any issues if a power surge affects an electrical device or appliance in your home. However, frequent spikes might damage fragile circuit boards’ connections, rendering your equipment non-functional and costing you money to fix.

    Should You Invest in a Whole-House Surge Protector?

    To protect equipment worth thousands of dollars in electronics and machinery, whole-house surge protectors are commonly utilized in commercial and industrial environments. However, homeowners can benefit from them just as much.

    Today, while thinking about susceptibility and defense, all of your kitchen appliances—your stove, microwave, dishwasher, Keurig, and wall-mounted TVs—must be taken into account. Just that is what makes a “normal home” susceptible. You might have servers, many computers, and gaming consoles if you own a business or engage in particular hobbies.

    Computers and televisions can be protected by power strip surge protectors, however, appliances that are hardwired into the grid are not covered. To create the broadest possible safety net, you can utilize both a whole-house surge protector and conventional outlet protectors.

    Voltage fluctuations can still happen within the house even with protection at the circuit breaker box; the additional power strips will level things out. Whole-house protection can also be surprisingly inexpensive, with several devices costing less than $100.

    Of course, hiring an electrician to perform the installation will incur additional costs. If you want the best solutions on the market, whole-home surge protection can cost over a thousand dollars.

    It may cost a couple of hundred dollars for your electrician to provide and install one. All things considered, they rank among the more affordable electrical system upgrades you can make to your house.

    All in All

    So, is whole-house surge protection essential?

    Yes! A whole-house suppressor provides complete lightning protection by immediately preventing the surge from entering household circuits. Individual plug-in suppressors are unable to shield hard-wired electronics from damage.

    Many pricey electrical appliances are hard-wired directly into your home’s electrical circuits, including large appliances like dishwashers, fridges as well as HVAC equipment.

    Exterior lighting, sprinkler systems, and security systems are all hard-wired. Hard-wired gadgets can only be protected by a whole-house suppressor that shields all circuits from surges coming from the outside.

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