What is a power surge? Perhaps you’ve heard this term and wondered exactly what it is and why it’s so important to prepare for them. A power surge occurs when something boosts the electrical charge in the power lines. When this happens, there’s an increase in the electrical potential energy, which can increase the current flowing to your wall outlet.
Power surges can be caused by any number of things including lightning, though lightning is not a very common cause. High-powered electrical devices like elevators, air conditioners, and refrigerators are a common cause of power surges. Turning these devices on and off creates sudden, brief demands for power. This can upset the steady voltage flow in the electrical system, causing a power surge. Faulty wiring, downed power lines, or other problems with the utility company’s equipment can also cause surges.
How can power surges be harmful? Many modern electronic devices like DVD players, computers, and microwaves contain components that are sensitive to current increases. Computers and any other home appliances that contain microprocessors are particularly sensitive to power surges. These devices depend on a steady flow of power at the correct voltage. Power surges can shorten the life of computers, and potentially wipe out saved data or destroy the whole system.
In order to protect your appliances from these unavoidable power surges, it is a good idea to use surge protectors. Surge protectors help maintain the constant flow of power that appliances like computers and entertainment systems rely on. Surge protectors can help minimize or eliminate the damage from small fluctuations in voltage flow, which can extend the life of your appliances. It can be a hassle to use small surge protector power strips for all of your appliances, especially if you own many electronics. To be sure that your whole home is protected from power surges, whole home surge protection should be used.