Surge protectors have become a household item very few people even think about. But in all actuality these powerful devices do more than provide extra outlets. They can help save your electronics and keep thousands in your pocket. 

What Is A “Surge”?

A surge is a very short, high influx of energy within the electrical infrastructure of your home or structure. A surge can be caused by an electrical grid being old and breaking down. The addition of a large number of houses, buildings, retail structures and all the equipment used in them can also make a grid unstable. In response, energy companies relocate power to keep up with demand which can sometimes cause surge events. 

Surge events can also be caused by any one location that utilizes large amounts of energy. For example, being near an airport or stadium could greatly increase the likelihood you’d experience a surge event. Lightning and storms can also create situations that increase your likelihood of experiencing a surge event. 

Choosing a Surge Protector

One of the most important factors when choosing a surge protector is the Joule rating. This rating was designed to give a basic way to differentiate between surge protectors. The higher the Joule rating the better the protector. A surge protector with a joule rating of 1100 or more is best. 

The UL, or Underwriters Laboratories, rating is a number assigned by a third party testing organization. If your surge protector has a UL rating it means the company took measures to have their product third party tested. Surge protectors with a rating of 1400 or higher are great for protecting large electronics like flat screen televisions and other large appliances. 

In addition to choosing the right surge protector, it’s important to replace your surge protectors every few years. After years of experiencing surge events, usually without you even knowing, a surge protector will eventually break down. At that point the surge protector will still allow power to flow to your devices, just without the protection they need should a surge event occur. 

A quality surge protector is essentially an investment in protection for your expensive electronic devices. You spend thousands on your televisions, computers and household appliances, so why not protect them with a surge protector?