The cost of a surge protector is well worth the expense when you consider the potential for damage. In an average year, the typical residence in the U.S. is exposed to over 300 occasions where voltage in household electrical circuits approaches or exceeds safe limits. Voltage spikes can be caused by external events such as fluctuations on the local power grid. They can also occur due to lightning strikes in the vicinity that send a surge of voltage through utility lines and into your home.
Another source are electrical events that originate inside your house. Appliances drawing excessive amperage—particularly a motor in a refrigerators, washer/dryer or the air conditioner compressor—or short circuits occurring somewhere in the home can all trigger voltage fluctuations.
The ever-increasing amount of sensitive electronic devices now utilized in the typical household can be permanently damaged by transient, instantaneous power spikes. A surge protector offers defense against expensive losses from voltage irregularities in two ways:
- A whole-house surge protector is installed at your main electrical panel. This unit senses all electrical power entering the house from the local utility lines. If a spike in voltage is detected, the unit disconnects the power panel from the electrical source before damage can be done to sensitive devices inside the house. This effectively protects against fluctuations that occur on the local grid, usually associated with power outages or blackouts or incidents such as lightning strikes.
- Individual surge protectors can also be installed at certain high-value appliances such as stoves and refrigerators as well as home entertainment centers. Another important unit to protect is the central air conditioner. Today’s A/C units incorporate sensitive electronics and microprocessors that can be destroyed by voltage surges. The purpose of individual surge protectors is to guard against voltage spikes that originate inside the home that could circumvent the protection offered by a whole-house protector.
Ask the professionals at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing for more information about the benefits of installing a surge protector in your home.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues. For more information about surge protectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or give us a call at 440-345-8795.
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