How to Choose Surge Protectors That Are Right for Your Home
These days, for most of us, our plug-in devices outnumber the available outlets in many areas of our homes. Because of this, you are likely to find surge protectors under desks, behind entertainment centers, or even in mud rooms.
Surge Protector Vs. Power Strip
When you are looking for a surge protector, make sure that you know the difference between an actual surge protector and an ordinary power strip. A power strip simply takes the power coming out of a single outlet and shares it over multiple plug-ins. Surge protectors do this, too, but they are designed to protect whatever electronics are plugged in from power surges as well as from noise or interference on the power line. Surge protectors are more expensive. In the event of a power surge, which is an infrequent but possible occurrence, you’ll be glad you invested the extra cost.
Choosing a Surge Protector
When shopping for a surge protector, consider the following:
- How many ports do you need? Make sure you by a unit with enough outlets for the equipment you wish to plug in. Linking multiple surge protectors together can cause a short, overload your breaker or even result in an electrical fire. Buy a surge protector that’s right for the job you want it to do. If you find you need more plugs than a surge protector can provide, talk to an electrician about installing additional outlets and lines.
- What are you plugging in to the surge protector? Knowing what you’re using the surge protector for can help you choose the right unit. For example, you will want more robust - and, thus, more expensive - protection for your TV or computer than for a phone charger or table lamp.
- Does the unit have the correct energy absorption rating? The absorption rating will tell you how much energy the surge protector can take before it fails. The higher the rating, the better.
While you can buy surge protectors at just about any big box retailer, you should talk to a professional electrician about which types are right for your needs and how to use them safely. Call Casteel for questions about the best way to practice electrical safety in your home.