You know to have surge protectors for your computer, but what about other major appliances? Whole-home surge protection can protect everything in your home, including your appliances, security system, and sensitive electronic equipment, from damaging electrical spikes. Here we’ll explore the relationship between power fluctuations and the premature death of your appliances. We’ll also explain how whole-home surge protection can protect your investments.
In June, July, and August, West Virginia experiences the highest rate of thunderstorms and lightning strikes. That’s also when the residents of this area are more likely to lose their expensive home appliances. According to the National Lightning Safety Council, 70% of appliances are lost during these stormy months.
These losses are in homes and apartments without whole-circuit surge suppressors at the electrical panel. It’s important to note that appliance failure may not be from a single lightning strike. These surges can gradually weaken electronic components. Your best option is to install whole-home surge protection to avoid the hassle and cost of losing home appliances.
Power Surges Are a Major Cause of Appliance Failure
The average lifespan of an electric stove in the U.S. is 13 years. This can vary depending on various factors, such as usage frequency and appliance quality. Power surges can significantly reduce the number of functional years of stoves and other appliances.
Voltage spikes happen more often than most people think. Utility companies managing the electrical grid infrastructure do their best to prevent sudden voltage spikes. Unfortunately, there is only so much they can do to this effect. When utility companies switch between different substations, there can be a momentary increase in voltage.
Power surges can also originate within the home. When a large electric motor starts, it draws a large amount of current, which causes power fluctuations. Faulty wiring can produce arcing that can result in voltage fluctuations and surges. There’s also the mistake of plugging too many appliances and devices into a circuit regulated by a single breaker. All these scenarios can result in power surges that can be harmful to your home appliances.
The High Cost of Replacing and Repairing Appliances
The cost of repairing appliances and electrical damage can be significant. The average cost of a power surge is $1,000 based on insurance estimates. The annual increase in losses since 2000 has been $50 per household. This is not surprising, as modern appliances generate higher losses, particularly those with smart features and advanced functionality.
Consider the price tags of smart refrigerators. These appliances normally retail for around $5,000. Smart refrigerators’ advanced electronic components and circuit boards make them more sensitive and vulnerable to damage from power surges. This doesn’t mean that a voltage spike will completely fry them. Fixing the damaged components will be expensive because the manufacturer’s warranties do not cover such situations.
In addition, the average number of electronic devices in U.S. households has steadily increased in recent years. In the average Beckley home, it is not surprising to find 20 or more electronic devices. Modern electronics can be highly sensitive to power surges. They can be just as expensive to repair or replace as smart appliances. A medium- to high-end computer can easily be $2,000 or more.
Don’t take your chances with expensive appliances that lack surge protection. You can’t trust that your homeowner’s insurance will provide adequate coverage. As for individual power strips that plug into your outlets, be careful. Some of these devices are incorrectly marketed or assumed to be suppressors, especially cheap ones. Many of them do not provide any surge protection.
Loss of property from a power surge is covered in some homeowners’ insurance policies. This type of coverage often requires a premium endorsement and is rarely all-encompassing. It is not unusual to find numerous exclusions for specific electronic components that are part of smart appliances. A better approach is to prevent power surge damage altogether with a panel surge protector for your home in Beckley.
When compared to the high price tag of smart appliances and other home appliances, the cost of installing a Type 2 surge protector is significantly lower. Installing a voltage-suppressing system in your electrical panel will always be the best solution.
How Surge Suppressors Protect Your Appliances
A whole-house surge protector installed at the main electrical panel of a home protects all your appliances. It also protects your electronic devices from voltage spikes. The kind of surge protector Childers Air Plumbing & Electric usually installs for residential customers in Beckley works by absorbing excess voltage from a power surge. It then diverts it away from appliances and electronics.
A suppressor acts like a filter. It allows safe currents to flow, but it blocks high-voltage surges. When a surge happens, it is channeled into the ground wire. You can think of a surge protector as a failsafe fuse between the panel and the grid.
Advantages of Whole-Home Surge Protection
Whole-home surge protection can do more than just protect your appliances and other electronic equipment. One vital aspect of whole-house surge protection is safety. Under some circumstances, power surges can spark electrical fires. This happens when the surge is powerful enough to overload the wiring in your home. The resulting arc can ignite nearby combustible materials such as insulation or furniture. Based on this, installing a surge suppressor that can absorb and discharge excess voltage makes sense. You want to prevent the surge from reaching wiring sections that could cause a fiery arc.
Also, having whole-home surge protection may be beneficial when it’s time to sell your home. A home appraiser will note on their report when a voltage suppressor is installed. Real estate agents make it a point to mention surge protection on their listings. Prospective home buyers are increasingly looking for properties with surge protection and standby generators. These are sensible and functional features that could boost the value of your home.
Are You Protected?
Many homeowners are unsure whether their houses or apartments have surge protection. Despite the clear benefits of whole-house surge protection, not many new homes in the U.S. have these systems. This is a matter of cost-cutting in the residential construction industry. Developers who build upscale gated communities sometimes install voltage spike suppressors, but not every time. If you are not sure whether your home has surge protection, please contact our office.
At Childers Air Plumbing & Electric, we get many homeowners who wish to upgrade their residential circuits. We also get customers who are building new homes on spec. We operate in Beckley and also provide services to homeowners in Braxton, Clay, Raleigh, and many other counties in West Virginia.
Surge protection for your entire home is just one of our services. We can help you with issues related to heating and air conditioning. Other services include plumbing, drain cleaning, water heater installation, and water filtration. If you are interested in the ultimate electrical protection, we can help you with standby generators. Call Childers Air Plumbing & Electric today to get started with whole-home surge protection or any of our other services.