Can a whole house surge protector save you money?
Every plugged-in device in your home with a digital or electronic component is susceptible to power surges. Even small voltage surges can reduce the lifespan of your electrical devices and appliances. In addition to premature replacement costs, power surges can cause programming issues and increase your electricity fees by lowering the efficiency of your appliances and devices.
How many devices are plugged in to a power outlet in your home? How many of those devices are electronic or digital?
It would take a while to come up with a final tally — because it’s a lot of devices! How much time and money would it cost you to replace every device because of a power surge?
Fortunately, you can take affordable precautions today to protect your devices, your wallet and your monthly budget.
What causes electrical surges?
Especially during summer months, we think of electrical surges happening as a result of a lightning strike. However, surges vary in size and origin. Large surges often occur during electrical storms but also when electricity is restored after a power outage.
Small surges are actually the most common and can be caused by appliances in your home. Here are just a few examples:
- your HVAC-changing cycles
- your refrigerator compressor starting
- even turning on a hair dryer
Ever wonder why your refrigerator or other major appliance didn’t last as long as you expected? Surges could be the culprit. Eventually, even the small surges have a costly effect on your electronics.
What types of surge protectors are available?
You probably already know that you can install surge protectors for each of your valuable electronics, but are you aware that installing one whole-house surge protector can help safeguard all of your appliances and electronic devices?
There are three types of surge protection devices (SPD):
- Type 1 is installed in front of your power meter (between your power meter and the street). Type 1 protectors are not popular because installation requires coordinating with your power company; many power companies don’t even allow installation of these devices.
- Type 2 is commonly referred to as a whole-house surge protector. It is installed by a licensed electrician at your breaker box.
- Type 3 devices are what most homeowners rely on; these are plugged into wall outlets and sometimes look like a power strip.
Whole house surge protector
Rather than plugging each individual device into a surge protector, a whole house surge protector installs at your electric panel to protect the main line into your home. For Type 2 surge protectors, here are the important specifications:
- Surge rating: Devices are available with a wide range of surge current ratings, from 10,000 amps and up. The lower rated devices will likely not last past one initial large surge, so it’s best to look for a higher rating. Fitch Services can discuss what rating will be best for your house.
- UL compliance: Each device must be UL certified for safety.
- Indicator lights: Each device should include a notification light to let you know if it’s absorbed a big enough surge to no longer be effective.
What type of surge protectors do I need?
Ideally, your home should have a cascade of protection with a Type 2 surge protector at the breaker box and multiple Type 3 protectors.
How do I get started?
In Charlottesville, Virginia and surrounding Central VA counties, call Fitch Services to discuss surge protection needs at your home. We may be able to schedule an installation appointment at the first call! For many basic home installations, we won’t need to come out for an initial consultation since type 2 protectors are universal and can typically be installed on any type of electrical panel. If you want to ensure total surge protection for your home, you’ll also need to protect your phone and cable lines. For this type of installation, we’ll schedule a free in-home appointment to look at your electrical panels and discuss options.
Don’t wait until it’s too late; call Fitch Services today to discuss total surge protection for your home!