By Jake Taylor
Surges in a home’s electrical system can cause damage to sensitive devices like computers, TVs, lights, refrigerators and many other devices. This can be even more severe if the devices are smart appliances that have delicate electronics. That is why it is important for homeowners and renters to protect their investments with surge protection and check with their insurance provider to cover their electronics with a protection plan.
The cause of an electrical surge can come from many places. Most power surges come from within the home. Any time a motor load (air conditioning, washing machine, dryer, refrigerator or well pump) starts up, it draws a surge of energy that affects the entire home. Surges can also come from acts of nature like storms. Sometimes the surge comes from the utility provider as they are servicing the lines. Regardless of the cause, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make sure their electronics are protected.
Protection can range from a simple power strip (for as little as $10) to whole-home devices (which can cost a little over $1,000). Power strips are placed in between the electronics to be protected and the wall outlet and are typically installed by the homeowner. Whole home protection is installed in or near the main electrical panel by an electrician. The amount of protection provided is listed on the surge protection device.
One thing to keep in mind: The more a protective device works, the faster it wears out. Most surge protectors have an indicator light that signals when the device is no longer providing protection. Make sure to monitor your devices and replace them when needed.
JAKE TAYLOR is energy advisor at LaGrange County REMC