Why Your Home Needs Surge Protection

Lightning surges may be on the rise due to an increase in storms and natural disasters, but lightning isn’t the biggest danger to the electronics in our homes. Almost 80% of power surges in the house are self-generated from backup power generators, AC units and other appliances. The more electronics, the more energy needed. When we continue to increase our energy usage, it’s important to increase surge protection.

Surge Protection Options

Due to the increase in personal and work-related electronics, we have within our homes, we’re seeing an increase in damage claims due to power surge damage. In a recent study of homeowners’ insurance claims, more than $825 million was paid to over 100,000 claims due to lightning strikes and power surges. What is even more shocking (pun intended), in the past 10 years, the average cost per residential damage claim has grown over 40%.

Even your washer and dryer likely have circuit boards that can be damaged from a power surge. The number of claims is expected to rise with smart home components and home automation equipment becoming even more popular.

How many electronic devices do you have in your home currently unprotected? If you’re not certain your home is protected, here are a few ways Bradley Mechanical can help.

There are a few different surge protection options, including:

  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI). A ground fault circuit interrupter, or GFCI, is a breaker integrated into the outlet and is designed to shut off electricity in the event of a ground fault. It monitors the current flow and can trip the circuit within one-fortieth of a second if it detects an imbalance. There are three different types: a GFCI installed inside your electrical box, within an electrical panel and portable types. The right one for your home will depend on the amount of protection you need and your budget.
  • Dedicated Computer Circuits. Installed in the electrical box, a dedicated computer circuit has its own circuit breaker intended only for your computer system. A dedicated computer circuit ensures your computer can access the energy it needs without overloading the system, causing power loss, a blown fuse or tripped breaker.
  • Whole House Surge Protection. A whole house surge protector only allows for the electricity your home needs and protects devices from overvoltage. It can also help protect from surges that can occur from within the home. Top-of-the-line solutions are affordable, and our trained technicians can install them quickly.
    This process blocks excess current before it can go through your home's circuitry. Proper grounding is essential for a whole house surge protector to effectively protect your investments. Considering everything that is protected, a whole house surge protector can save you thousands over its initial investment cost. It is also an easy way to increase a home’s future sale value.
  • Arc Fault Circuit Breakers (AFCI). An arc fault happens when current flows through an unplanned path creating an unintended arc. This can create a fire hazard as some arcs can exceed temperatures of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. An arc fault may occur for many reasons – improper insulation, damaged extension cords, loose outlets, or switches can all be culprits. An arc fault circuit breaker, or AFCI, works much like a GFCI, where it monitors current and trips the circuit if an unwanted arcing condition is detected.
    Since 2014, arc fault circuit interrupters are now required for all 15 and 20-amp branch circuits that provide power to outlets in virtually all residential rooms—bedrooms, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, laundry rooms, recreation rooms, hallways and even closets. If your home’s electrical system hasn’t been updated in the last decade, it could be time for an evaluation.

Investing in Surge Protection

With how dependent we are becoming on electronic devices, including our laptops, televisions, smartphones, and other devices for both play and productivity, it’s a good idea to have them all protected. You can easily protect your home and devices by investing in some simple precautions with Bradley Mechanical.

Our team of trusted electricians has a combined 50+ years of experience. We understand all electrical systems vary, especially within older homes. Whether it’s time for an upgrade or you’re just looking for a way to improve your circuitry, we’ve got your back. We’ll ensure your devices are not only protected but that your home is up to code and safe. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

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