People in the US spent $4,158 on utilities in 2020. Over a third ($1,516) went toward electricity bills alone.
Most US homes, after all, own a space heater, water heater, air conditioner, and refrigerator. They also have televisions, cookers, and many other electronics.
Unfortunately, all those electrical devices and equipment are vulnerable to power surges. Without surge protection, they’re at risk of severe damage.
But what is a power surge, though? How does surge protection even work?
This guide answers those questions and more, so read on.
What Is a Power Surge?
A power surge is a sudden increase in the electrical charge carried by power lines. That causes a spike in the potential energy flowing to wall outlets. The stronger the surge, the more severe the damage or destruction it can cause to devices.
In rare cases, extreme power surges can also trigger electrical fires.
Electrical malfunctions, in turn, accounted for 6.8% of US house fires in 2019. That’s on top of the 2.9% of residential building fires caused by appliances.
What Can Cause Power Surges?
The causes of power surges can either be internal or external.
Internal causes occur when motorized appliances, such as a fridge, shut off temporarily. That then redirects the electricity to other devices connected to your electrical system.
External power surges involve elements outside your home, such as a lightning strike. They can also result from power restoration after a blackout or an outage.
How Can Surge Protection Help?
A surge protection device detects unexpected spikes in electrical currents. If the voltage rises above an acceptable level, it diverts the excess power into the ground.
Thus, a surge protector safeguards electronics connected to it during a power surge.
A power strip with surge protection is the cheapest surge protector available. However, it only safeguards appliances connected to it. You can still use these strips for smaller devices, such as computers, TVs, and gaming consoles.
If you have many pricey electronics, it’s best to get a whole-home surge protection system. Licensed electricians mount these on the electrical panels themselves. They can prevent internal and external power surges from damaging equipment.
Whole-home surge protectors are also best for appliances requiring direct wall outlet connections. These include air conditioners, space heaters, water heaters, and refrigerators.
Some electrical surge protection devices only block external surges, though. That means they don’t safeguard electronics from spikes inside your home. So, make sure you confirm the type of protection a device provides before buying it.
You can also install a whole-home protector and individual surge suppressor. That can help further protect appliances and electronics from internal and external surges.
Invest in Surge Protection Today
Remember: No matter how small a flame is, it can turn into a massive fire in half a minute. It can then engulf an entire home within just a few minutes.
Since an electrical fire can, albeit rarely, occur due to a power surge, it’s a risk you should avoid at all costs. Thus, it’s best to invest in whole-home surge protection ASAP. Besides, you don’t want your pricey electronics to get damaged, do you?
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