Homes today have more technology in them than ever before. And most of this technology relies on that homes’ electrical system. Think about it—you probably have multiple devices connected to your household’s power supply at any given time, right? With many power charging stations handling your portable systems and many high efficiency appliances throughout the living space.
Here’s the thing—a voltage spike from any of those appliances or pieces of electrical equipment can cause irreparable damage to complex electrical equipment. You might think you’re fully protected because you have power strips everywhere. But this actually isn’t enough. We’ll expand on this below—read on!
Power Surges: Not Quite What You Think
A common misconception among homeowners is that the only purpose of surge protection is protection from a voltage in electricity from a storm. Storms are certainly a contributing factor, but not the only factor.
A power surge is a voltage spike—it happens when there’s a sudden increase in voltage throughout your entire electrical system. These surges can meld wires, cause fuses to blow, and cause circuit breakers to trip.
And the thing is, many of these power surges come from inside the house. When a powerful electrical appliance cycles on (such as one of your HVAC systems), in can create an imbalance in the electrical current, creating a surge.
Have you ever seen your lights flicker when the air conditioner comes on? This is precisely what we are referring to.
Power Strips: One Layer of Protection
We mentioned above how power strips don’t completely protect your home from power surges. They are helpful, and they are more effective and safer than the old “octopus” plugs that were used to enable more appliances to plug into a single outlet.
A power strip has its own circuit breaker. When there is a surge in electrical voltage, the strip shuts off power to prevent damage to the appliances plugged into it.
But, power strips are only one layer of protection. They’re not the end all solution. After all, a single massive voltage spike can actually overwhelm a power strip, and many of the lesser surges actually won’t cause them to active, instead allowing them to slowly degrade your electrical appliances connected to that power strip.
The best solution for all of this is a whole-house surge protector. Our professional electricians can install one of these right into the electrical panel of your home. The panel is where the electricity from the grid enters your home, and divides it into individual circuits. A whole-house surge protector on the panel will send excess voltage down into the ground rather than into the electrical system.
All of this prevents the spike in voltage from reaching the rest of the appliances and electrical equipment in your home, and it is capable of handling extreme surges from storms or power plant issues.