Air conditioner surge protectors ensure that your air conditioner won’t be destroyed if there is a surge in your home’s electrical system. Previously, air conditioner surge protectors were usually only installed on commercial air conditioners, as these are quite expensive and worth protecting.
In the past, few HVAC professionals recommended air conditioner surge protectors to homeowners, as they units were just too expensive to be worthwhile for the average homeowner. Now, all that has changed. Residential air conditioner surge protectors available for homeowners at reasonable prices. But, should you buy one?
What Does a Power Surge Do to Your Home?
A power surge is a spike of voltage that runs through your electrical wiring. It can harm all kinds of expensive and useful appliances, from air conditioners to computers. They cause a lot of damage, but are they really common enough that buying a power surge protector is worthwhile?
It’s true that large power surges aren’t very common, but smaller power surges happen regularly. They are frequently caused by large appliances turning on and off. The average home experiences these surges on a regular basis. They slowly cause damage to your appliances, including your air conditioner, over time. You may need to replace appliances early die to damage from power surges.
Power surges are momentary and may not seem to cause any damage from the outside, so you likely won’t notice them. If you’ve ever had an appliance or computer stop turning on out of nowhere, power surges may have been the cause. It’s wise to protect your appliances from power surges.
What Could Cause a Power Surge in Your Home?
Appliances turning on and off aren’t the only cause of power surges. In fact, there are several things that can cause major power surges, including:
- Nearby lighting strikes
- Downed power lines
- Faulty wiring
- Improper installation of an electrical appliance
- Turning off your home’s power
- Normal maintenance from the utility company
Power surge protectors will take the excess voltage generated by these events and direct it into the ground, where it can’t hurt your appliance. However, extreme power surges can still overwhelm your protector. So, if you’re investing in one, be sure it rated for a high voltage.
Individual or Whole Home Surge Protectors?
Why buy an air conditioner surge protector when you can protect all of your other gadgets and appliances with a whole home surge protector? The short answer is that a whole home surge protector doesn’t provide enough protection.
A whole home surge protector may be a worthwhile option to protect your appliances and electronics from large surges that originate from outside of your home. For example, if you live in an area with frequent lightning, a whole home surge protector may be a worthwhile investment.
However, these surge protectors don’t handle surges that originate in the home, like the common smaller surges caused by appliances turning on and off. So, it’s best to protect your most important appliances with their own surge protector that can keep them from internal power surges. It’s a simple investment that can save you headache and replacement costs down the road.
Alternatively, if your home’s air conditioning has already been affected by a power outage, consider installing a whole home generator to prevent further damages in the future.