Let’s talk whole house surge protection. What is it? What do you need to know? And why is it an important investment for the safety of your homebuyers and their devices.
Surge protection? Boring and technical and way too may terms like amps, right?
We recently spoke with Craig Pluemer, marketing director of the Surge Protection Business for Schneider Electric, about whole-house surge protection. And we are determined to make this subject not so boring and technical.
Think of surge protection as a bouncer at a nightclub. He may only let certain people in and quickly tosses the troublemakers. Getting more interesting?
Well, a good whole-house surge protection device does essentially the same thing. It allows in only the electricity your home needs and not the unruly over-voltages from the utility—then it protects your devices from any trouble that can occur from surges inside the house.
Whole-house surge protective devices (SPDs) are typically wired to the electric service box and located nearby to protect all the appliances and electrical systems in a home. They are typically a $200 to $500 add-on.
80 percent of surges in a home we generate ourselves.
Like many of the surge suppression strips we’re used to, whole-house surge protectors use metal oxide varistors (MOVs), to shunt power surges. MOVs get a bad rap because in surge strips one surge can effectively end the usefulness of an MOV.
But unlike those used in most surge strips, the ones in whole-house systems are built to shunt large surges and can last for years.
According to Pluemer, more homebuilders today are offering whole-house surge protection as standard adders to help differentiate themselves and help protect homeowners’ investments in electronic systems—especially when some of those sensitive systems can be sold by the homebuilder.
MORE ON SURGE PROTECTION
Here are 5 things you should know about whole-house surge protection:
1. Homes are in more need of whole house surge protection today than ever.
“A lot has changed in the home over last few years,” says Pluemer. “There are many more electronics, and even in lighting with LEDs, if you take an LED apart there’s a little circuit board there. Washers, dryers, appliances also have circuit boards today, so there’s a lot more today to be protected in the home from power surges—even the home’s lighting. “There’s a lot of technology that we’re plugging into our houses.”