Is your home’s electrical system protected?
Most homes today have high-tech appliances and expensive home entertainment systems. A power surge, or spike in voltage, can damage your items, or lead to an electrical fire.
It does not matter how old or new your home is. All new appliances/electronics are made with circuit boards that control the functions of the items. Depending on which item takes a surge, the repair bill can range from a few hundred or several thousand dollars.
Where do power surges come from?
· Power outages
· Appliances, such as refrigerators or air conditioners, cycling on and off
· Tripped circuit breakers
· Surge outlets and power strips: These are a good first step towards protection. Prices can range from $20 to $150 - look for ones with a warranty that will cover any damaged items connected to the device – some only cover the surge protector itself. They should also have an UL 1449 rating, which shows they have undergone testing.
· Whole house surge protection: Stops the influx of voltage before it can come into your house. Installed in the electrical panel(s), all incoming telephone, and data lines, cable and/or satellite incoming lines. The cost is based on how many electrical panels and phone/cable lines need protection.
Angie’s List tips for protecting your home:
· Make a list: Take an inventory of your appliances and electronics. Make a note of how old the item is as well as how much it will cost to replace it. Then compare that with the cost of adding the surge protection.
· Talk to your agent: Check with your homeowner’s insurance to see if your appliances and electronics are covered in the event of a power surge.
· Hire a pro: Electrical work can be dangerous - only a licensed electrical contractor should install and perform maintenance on a whole house surge protection system. These systems are easy to forget about once they are in place, but it’s important to have them serviced regularly by a pro.