Surge Protectors: When and Why You Need Them

Surge Protectors: When and Why You Need Them

Contrary to popular opinion, surge protectors aren’t just gadgets that gamers use to protect their PlayStations and Xboxes. In fact, it’s not paranoid at all for any homeowner to invest in a reliable surge protector.

With recent developments in technology, more and more homes have appliances and electronics that are not only expensive, but also vulnerable to surges in electricity. If you have important electronics you want to protect, read our blog below to learn about how surge protectors can help.

Why Do You Need Surge Protectors?

Surge protectors (also called surge suppressors) are often confused with power strips. However, your surge protector does more than just offer multiple plugs for your various electronic devices.

Despite the fact that your home’s outlets are supposed to supply a steady stream of electricity, certain factors may create a surge of energy that endangers smaller devices. Although power surges aren’t common, it’s important to take the necessary steps to keep your electronics safe at all times.

Below are some common smaller electronics that require protection from power surges:

  • Microwaves
  • DVD/Blu-ray players
  • Computers (desktop and laptop versions)
  • Mobile devices, including phones
  • Tablets
  • Televisions and surround sound systems
  • Gaming systems

Because the above items have smaller and more delicate components than larger appliances like furnaces or freezers, they are much more vulnerable to power surges. For example, the microprocessor in a computer can be rendered useless by incorrect voltage.

Why Do Power Surges Happen?

Power surges happen under a variety of circumstances, most of which are difficult to predict ahead of time. Below are some common causes for power surges:

  • Lightning strikes on or near a power line
  • High-powered electrical devices turning on (for instance, refrigerators or AC units)
  • Faulty wiring
  • Tripped circuit breakers or short circuits
  • Unexplained variance on phone and power lines

As long as you have access to an electrical current in your home, you can’t determine when or how often your wiring will receive spikes in voltage. Only a reliable surge protector can protect you from these unpredictable surges.

What Is Voltage and Why Does It Matter?

Each of your electronic gadgets is crafted to deal with a certain level of electricity, or voltage. Likewise, your home’s outlets should provide that safe level of energy, although they may produce a higher amount during a power surge.

Like many people, you may constantly keep your desktop computer, flat-screen television, or tablet plugged directly into a power outlet, but doing so exposes your electronics to potential surges in electricity. Fortunately, surge protectors ensure that no matter the level of voltage coming through, your devices receive only the safe and required amount of electricity at all times.

What Type of Surge Protector Should You Use?

Most surge protectors also act as power strips, but not all power strips function as surge protectors, which means you can’t always trust your power strip to protect your devices. In addition, it’s often difficult to determine when your surge protectors have quit working and require replacement.

To invest in a surge protector that functions well and will last a long time, you need to buy from a reputable source. Despite the appeal of individual surge protectors, one way to ensure protection is to obtain a home-wide surge protection system.

Your local electrician likely has an option for an in-home surge protector system, which is far more convenient than purchasing several separate surge protectors. A professional electrician also knows how to assess your system on a regular basis to ensure its function and safety.

Talk to your local electrician or home maintenance provider to discover what options might be available. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to electricity.

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