Whole home surge protectors are intended to protect homes and large appliances against power surges. They are different from a smaller surge protector that you might use to plug your TV or appliances into the wall with. A whole home surge protector often requires a licensed electrician to come out for a couple of hours for the installation. Someone who is very savvy and understands their electrical system well and feels safe installing one could attempt it as well. As most homeowners have experienced, hiring a licensed electrician comes at a price. The question is: is it worth it?
What is a power surge?
To understand if a whole home surge protector is worth the investment, first we need to understand what a power surge is. When the current of electricity is interrupted and then resumes, a power surge has occurred. A power surge can range in volts, from when you turn on a small appliance to a lighting strike. Power surges occur one of two ways: internally or externally.
Internal: An internal power surge is the most common type of surge and they occur every single day within homes. They often go unnoticed and occur when large appliances start and stop running, like when you hear your refrigerator, furnace, or air conditioner turn on and off.
External: An external power surge is one that comes from outside of the home. Think of a storm that takes out a power line, a blown transformer, or a lighting strike during a thunderstorm. All of these events can cause an external power surge.
Investment vs. Repair
Knowing that power surges occur every day in homes, it is important to have protection to prolong the life of large appliances. Protection could also keep thousands of dollars in your pocket.
The investment for a whole home power surge protector depends on a few factors. The cost for a whole home surge protection device starts around $100. If a licensed electrician comes and installs it, it will take a couple hours. For these reasons, a whole home surge protector installation can range from $300-$800.
If a home does not have a whole home surge protector and and power surge occurs, it could damage a number of large appliances and cost thousands. The average cost per homeowner insurance lighting damage claim in 2019 was $11,971.
Like any protection system you would invest in for your home, it might save you thousands and it might never get used. That is the truth of any and all insurance that we invest in every year. That being said, a $300-$800 investment could be saving yourself thousands of dollars in the event that your home does get damaged in a storm. The payoff in peace of mind alone might be worth it for some homeowners. Others may want to research if their location is at an increased risk for these claims or not before the initial investment.
A whole home surge protector is a great first step of defense in protecting a home from power surges. Having large appliances plugged into individual surge protectors is still recommended for additional protection. Even safer is to unplug all large appliances in an event of a storm or other at risk event.
Lux Electric would be happy to answer any questions you have about whole home surge protection. Reach out to our team today for any of your electrical questions and needs!