Installing surge protection in your Richland Hills, TX home is an important preventative measure against appliance, electronics, and electrical system damage. Although you can purchase relatively low-cost, outlet-specific protection at local stores, these products aren’t meant to handle all surge events or protect all gadgets and electrical system features. Whole-house surge protection offers a far more comprehensive and reliable solution. To help you determine whether this upgrade is right for your home, here are several of its benefits and drawbacks.
How Does Whole-home Surge Protection Work?
Whole-home surge protection connects directly to the main electrical panel. It blocks the dangerously high electrical currents that follow outages, but it allows safe levels of electricity to pass. Also known as surge suppressors, whole-home surge protectors identify spikes in power supplies and instantly route excess voltage into the ground.
Pros: Protect Your Outlets, Breaker Box, Wires, and More
Plugging your gaming computer or mobile phone into a surge protector strip offers mid-grade protection from the power surges that are specific to the outlet. However, it won’t protect the outlet itself. While you might be worried about the accelerated damage that unprotected power surges cause to electronics and appliances, it’s important to consider how these spikes affect your home’s electrical system as well.
There are many different causes of power surges, and not all of them are outlet or circuit-specific. Fluctuations and short disruptions in your home’s power supply cause external power surges that impact the entire building. External power surges wear down wiring, breakers, outlets, switches, and more. Over time, they also set the stage for dangerous short circuits and electrical fires. Whole-home surge protection will protect all of the items that you have plugged in and all of the components in your electrical system.
Con: No Surge Protection Is 100% Effective
While whole-house surge protectors protect all the outlets and parts of the electrical system throughout the building, this doesn’t mean that they don’t let excess voltage slip through. In fact, up to 15 volts of excess electricity can bypass even the best whole-home surge protector. This is why, for optimum protection, homeowners are advised to install surge suppressors at high-use outlets, too.
It’s important to note that whole-house surge protectors don’t protect against all power surge events. For instance, if your home is ever hit by a direct lightning strike, your electronics and wiring will likely sustain damage.
Pro: Surge Protectors Protect Against the Most Common Surge Events
Whole-home surge protectors reliably protect against the most common surge events: internal power surges. While external power surges are caused by disruptions or fluctuations in the flow of electricity into your home, internal power surges occur when major appliances cycle on or off, when circuits are overloaded, or when wiring problems exist. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation (ESF), internal power surges account for 60% to 80% of all power surges within the average home. Thus, even though whole-house surge protection doesn’t guard against exceedingly rare occurrences such as direct lightning strikes, it does guard against the things most likely to cause harm.
Con: Whole-house Surge Protection Costs More
Having whole-house surge protection installed comes at a higher upfront cost than using outlet-based surge protectors alone. However, it’s definitely a worthwhile investment. Given that these additions can extend the life spans of costly appliances, electronics, and electrical systems, they can pay for themselves over time. Having whole-house surge protection installed also limits the likelihood of performance-related problems and costly device repairs.
Pro: Give Your Home’s Marketability a Boost
Whole-house surge protection could make your home more marketable. If you’re looking for an easy and practical way to improve your property before selling it, this is a good start. Smart, safety-oriented additions like this one have a universal appeal. In addition to the protection they supply, whole-house surge protectors also show buyers that the residential electrical systems are proactively maintained.
Pro: Peace of Mind
There’s nothing quite like setting up a brand-new entertainment system and exploring all that it has to offer. Unfortunately, you might not be able to enjoy this experience to the fullest if you’re filled with dread each time your lights flicker off and on. Most households have thousands of dollars in electronics, appliances, and gadgets that are constantly plugged in and constantly at risk of surge-related damage. By installing surge protection that covers all of these things at once, you can confidently expand your electronics collection without fear of sudden and potentially permanent equipment damage.
Pro: Appease Your Warrantors
Both your electrical system and the items plugged into it are likely covered by one or more warranties or insurance policies. These binding agreements provide coverage for damages resulting from specific perils, defective components, or other causes. However, they’re mutually binding, and this means that to enjoy their protections, consumers must meet the basic, established requirements for maintenance and care. Failing to meet these requirements could mean having to spend out-of-pocket for otherwise covered replacements and repairs.
For certain appliance and device warranties, surge protection is mandatory. You may even find this to be true of your home insurance policy or your home service agreement. Installing whole-house surge protection may be key to remaining compliant. It’s also a step that could improve your risk profile and qualify you for lower premiums.
Pro: Enhanced Home Safety
Many essential appliances and devices are hardwired directly into homes. Among these are HVAC systems, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and all smart home features. Protecting these things from surge-related damage is often critical for protecting residents’ health. When carbon monoxide detectors are harmed by surge events, people have no way of detecting this colorless, odorless gas. This is especially true when electrical damage prevents carbon monoxide detectors from accessing their backup battery power.
When power surges result from extreme weather events, having one damage your air conditioner or heater could leave your entire household vulnerable to hypothermia, heat stroke, or other temperature-related illnesses.
Con: Surge Protectors Don’t Last Forever
Most whole-house surge suppressors are built to last between five and 10 years. Thus, if you choose to add one to your home today, you should account for the recurring cost of replacing it. However, there isn’t an accurate way of estimating the life span of individual surge protectors. In different environments, these devices can wear down at dramatically different rates. If there are frequent disruptions in your power supply or if your home’s electrical wiring is outdated, your surge protection equipment might not last as long as you hope.
Pro: Create Multi-layered Protection
Having a professional choose and install your whole-house surge protector will optimize your returns on this investment. An electrician can help you find the perfect surge protection equipment based on the needs and nuances of your home. You can even work with an electrician to find the right surge protector cords for your outlets and other features for creating multi-layered protection.
You have a lot to protect in your Richland Hills, TX home. Fortunately, you can count on us for superior electrical panel, rewiring, and repair services. We also provide EV charging stations, generators, and plumbing services. Contact HR Phoenix today to find out more or schedule an appointment!