You might be shocked to learn that 1 in every 200 houses will be struck by lightning this year.
The real shocker is that most power surges actually originate from within your home.
Whether it’s from regular use of large appliances or a tripped circuit breaker, power surges can wreak havoc on your home and your electronics.
That’s why it’s important to protect your expensive electric equipment from power surges. But you may be asking, how much surge protection do I need?
The answer depends on a few factors. Keep reading as we explore this exact question.
What Causes Power Surges?
Before we get into how much surge protection you need, let’s first explore what causes power surges.
As we mentioned, events that regularly occur inside the home cause most power surges. Appliances such as air conditioners, washers and dryers, and even hair dryers can cause mini power surges every time they’re turned on. These types of surges are usually harmless and go unnoticed.
However, if multiple appliances are being used at the same time, it can cause a larger power surge that can damage your electronics.
Another common cause of power surges is when your circuit breaker trips. This usually happens when there’s too much electricity running through the circuits in your home. The circuit breaker is designed to trip and shut off the flow of electricity to prevent fires. However, when the breaker trips, it can cause a power surge.
Finally, severe weather can also cause power surges. Lightning strikes are the most common cause of weather-related power surges. When lightning hits a power line or your home, it can send a surge of electricity through the wiring and into your home. This type of surge is usually the most damaging because it’s the strongest.
Now that you know what causes power surges, let’s explore how much surge protection you need for your home.
How Much Surge Protection Do I Need?
The amount of surge protection you need depends on a few factors, including the value of your electronics and whether or not your home is hardwired.
If you have expensive electronics, such as a flat-screen TV or computer, you’ll want to make sure they’re properly protected from power surges. You can do this by using a surge protector with a built-in grounding wire. This type of surge protector will help dissipate the electricity and prevent it from damaging your electronics.
You will also want to know the joule rating of the protector you choose. The joule rating is a measure of how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it needs to be replaced. A surge protector with a higher joule rating will provide more protection for your electronics.
Another factor to consider is whether or not your home is hardwired. If your home is hardwired, meaning the electrical wires are run through the walls and ceilings, it’s a good idea to install whole-house surge protection. Whole-house surge protectors are installed at the main electrical panel and help protect your entire home from power surges and other electric issues.
These types of surge protectors are worth the investment if you have lots of high-end electronics and want to protect them without having lots of individual surge protectors around your home.
How to Choose the Right Surge Protector
When choosing a surge protector, there are a few things to consider.
Firstly, look at where you will put the protector and how many devices you will plug into it. Do you need a surge protector for your home office, where you have a computer, printer, and lamp plugged in? Or do you need a surge strip for your entertainment center, where you have a TV, game console, and sound system?
The number of devices you need to protect will help you determine how many outlets you need on the surge protector. Most surge protectors have between two and eight outlets. This also factors in the joule rating we mentioned earlier.
As we said, the joule rating is a measure of how much energy the surge protector can absorb before it needs to be replaced. If you’ll be plugging in lots of devices into one surge protector, you’ll want a joule rating that can handle this capacity.
Look for a surge protector with a high joule rating, 3000 or above, if you want to provide maximum protection for your electronics.
Finally, consider the warranty when choosing a surge protector. Some manufacturers offer warranties that cover damaged devices if they’re plugged into a surge protector that fails. These types of warranties can give you peace of mind. You are protecting your electronics, even if the surge protector doesn’t work as expected.
When to Bring in a Home Electrician
While surge protectors are a great way to protect your electronics, there are some cases where you may need to bring in a home electrician to solve your electric problems. If you’re experiencing power surges on a regular basis, this could be an indication of a bigger problem with your home’s electrical system.
A certified home electrician can come to your house and diagnose the issue, making any necessary repairs. They can also help you to answer that question, how much surge protection do I need, to put your mind at ease.
Schedule an appointment with our licensed electricians today as part of your home maintenance to keep your devices protected.