Smart home upgrade? Chances are, you have a lot invested in an array of expensive electronics, from your programmable thermostat to smart appliances and lighting. Before you assume all systems are a go and jet forth into the brave new world of home automation, perhaps you missed an essential component: Surge protection.
Why Do I Need Surge Protection?
A surge protector keeps your smart devices safe in case of sudden voltage spikes in the electrical grid created by lightning, downed lines, spikes and drops from neighbor demand, and even fluctuations from your own appliances switching on and off. Can a power surge affect your HVAC system? Power surges can impact, and will eventually destroy, appliances of all shapes and sizes, from your HVAC system, to streaming devices and smart bulbs – and the average home experiences 20 of such surges a day. Given the sensitivity of today’s electronic devices to even the smallest of spikes, surge protection for smart homes is a wise investment.
What Type of Surge Protection Do I Need?
- Surge Protected Power Strip
With surge protected power strips, only the appliances plugged into the strip will be protected when a surge hits, making the purchase of multiple surge protected power strips essential. When purchasing surge protected power strips, take care: Not all power strips offer surge protection. Many feature a similar design, yet only offer additional outlets – not surge protection. Look for UL listed protectors that specifically denote “surge protection” or “surge suppression,” and heed manufacturer’s instructions on when to replace surge protectors. They don’t last forever, and you don’t want to get zapped with a repair bill.
- Whole House Surge Protection
For complete protection of every smart device in the house, a whole-home surge protector is the best option. These are best in areas with a high rate of lightning strikes or where power surges are common. Whole house surge protection devices are installed to your electrical panel, between your power meter and breaker box. Like a pressure relief valve, when a surge is detected, whole house surge protectors block excess current or divert it safely to ground, protecting every appliance in your home.
Can I Install a Surge Protector Myself?
Surge protected power strips are easily installed by homeowners, however installing a surge protector that covers your whole house is professional job, involving the larger electrical wires that come into your home, and require the skill and attention to detail of a professional electrician. A professional electrician can also make sure your home is properly and adequately grounded, without which your surge protection system will be unable to do its job. Though not a DIY endeavor due to extreme electrical dangers, the installation of whole house surge protection only takes about 2 hours in the hands of a skilled electrician, and given the cost of smart devices, can easily pay for itself in the event of a single power surge.
Be smart about your home automation investment. Quickly and safely integrate surge protection into your home with the help of Mr. Electric today.