Protecting expensive electronics with surge protectors

Saving with Surge Protectors

by Christy Birmingham


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How to Protect Your Home and Electronics from Lightning Damage

Keeping Your Computer Safe

According to The Natural Handyman website, there are more than 20 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes per year in the US, and those lightning strikes are a major source of power surges. To protect your electronics from surges, which can rise to 169 volts or more, a surge protector can be invaluable. Installing an affordable surge protector can prevent expensive damage to equipment.

When power spikes occur and no surge protector is in place, electrical circuits may be burned, RAM and motherboard may be severely damaged, and data lost or scrambled. Your modem and power supplies may need to be replaced due to the extreme rise in temperature.

A new mid-range desktop computer retails between $700 and $1,000. Replacing a motherboard ranges from $50 to $200 depending on level of power, according to Ask A Geek website. Labor is additional if you do not install the parts yourself. Costs run even higher for businesses that face operational downtime while fixing equipment.

The Siemens website estimates total yearly costs to burned out computers, "In a single year, lightning is estimated to damage more than 100,000 laptops and desktop computers, with losses amounting to more than $125 million."

Your other home electronics are also at risk. Think television, sound systems, and video games. All can be fried by a single lightning strike.

How much will an appropriate surge protector cost? It depends on how big a unit you'll need. Prices for power surge protectors vary based on the number of surge-protected outlets in the device, the wattage rating, and number of joules of protection. Best Buy sells the Dynex 6-Outlet Surge Protector for only $12.99 online, while the 16-Outlet Rackbar Surge Suppressor by Cyberpower System USA costs $109.19. Select the protector that can handle enough watts to power everything you need safely without burnout.

Power surge protectors also save money by reducing wasted energy. Surge protectors with timers automatically shut off electronics at certain times, eliminating energy draw of idle equipment. Make more efficient use of power to lower your hydro bills. Save money by using surge protectors on your expensive electronics.

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