From mowing the lawn and changing blown light bulbs to washing exterior siding and replacing worn roofing shingles, it is easy to see the overwhelming nature of home maintenance. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not place any importance of their home's electrical system. While surprising to learn, thunderstorms that include heavy rain, thunder, and lightning cause millions of dollars in damage to properties and forests each year. In some instances, lightning can cause your home's electrical system to surge, resulting in permanent damage to the electronics in your home and even a potential fire.
Thankfully, a whole-home surge protector offers enormous benefits that can save your family, your electrical system, and your electronics. Here are a few things to know about a whole-home surge protector.
Surge Protectors Do Not Stop Lightning
One of the most common misconceptions regarding a whole-home surge protector is that it stops lighting from striking the home. Unfortunately, surge protection does not protect your home from lightning. It will protect your electrical system and components from severe damage that could occur as a result of a lightning strike.
Lightning Is Not the Only Factor
Most people believe electrical surges stem from lightning, which is partially true. However, many surges occur within the home from the regular use of your computers, televisions, and other electrical components. Known as transient surges, these short, intense bursts are generated by the way you use your electronics. While small, these shorter, internal surges can do more harm over time than one large surge caused by a lightning strike.
Installing a whole-home surge protector will not stop the surges from occurring over time, but they will protect the function and lifespan of the electrical wiring and electronics inside your home.
Surge Protection Should Be Layered
An electrical contractor can design a surge protection suited to your home's layout and needs, but it is important to note that the protection should be layered. Of course, you may not understand this concept.
If an electrical device sends a surge through a circuit that is shared with other devices that are not dedicated, these devices will also be affected by the surge. To avoid this, the surge protector should not be installed solely at the electrical panel.
Layering involves installing surge protection at both the electrical service to protect the whole home and the points of use to protect specific electronics. This ensures your whole home is protected while your specific electronic components are also protected.
It Is a Great Investment
In most homes, surge protector strips will be found behind televisions, surround sound equipment, and desktop computers. These strips are inexpensive to purchase and easy to use. While effective for protecting electrical components inside your home, surge protector strips do not protect your home's underlying electrical panel and wiring.
Surge protector power strips will protect your electronics, but these strips wear out over time. Replacing one every few years is recommended, which can become costly over the years. If not working correctly, your electronics will be at risk of a surge that can fry the device, causing you to purchase a replacement.
With an average cost of less than $1,000, professionally installed, whole-home surge protection may seem excessive to some homeowners. Compared to the cost of replacing surge protector strips and damaged electronics, a whole-house surge protector is a worthwhile investment.
Protecting your home and electronics from surges is an important part of maintenance, but most homeowners do not place much time or energy into understanding this need. With the help of an electrician, you can protect your home, family, and electronics using a whole-home surge protector.
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