Use of a whole home surge protector can save you thousands of dollars. Here’s why:
An SPD (surge protection device) senses incoming voltage and ampere surges, directing them safely through the home’s electrical grounding system eventually to the earth. A whole home surge protector provides significantly more safety than standard receptacle plug-in devices protecting all electrical fixtures, receptacles, lights, and any connected electronic devices. Electrical surges are excessive voltage or current delivered from the utility provider to a home, or induced through electromagnetism onto wiring, resulting in permanent damage to the home’s electrical system and connected devices. Surges are caused by a number of events, from utility switching and discharge of capacitors at substations, to indirect lightning strokes near a home or electrical infrastructure. According to the III (Insurance Information Institute), between 2017 and 2019, the average cost for lightning-related homeowners insurance claims increased more than 11%. In 2019, there were 77,000 lightning-related insurance claims in the U.S. with an average claim size more than $11,900.
A significant contributing factor to the rise in property damage due to electrical surges are the growing number of appliances, electronics, and electrical equipment in homes. The more electronics inside a home the more items can be damaged by electrical surges and under voltages. An analysis between 1978 and 2009 by the U.S. EIA (Energy Information Administration) found significant increases of the number of appliances and electronics in the average U.S. home. In comparison to the late 1970s, almost every modern home has electronic technology that simply did not exist two or more decades ago. Nearly all new appliances and consumer electronics have PCBs (Printed Circuit Boards). Circuit boards are especially susceptible to electrical surges due to their low operating voltages, thin circuit etching and numerous components. Most homes today have multiple computers, personal digital devices, and cellphones, with larger homes furnished with multiple televisions, refrigerators, deep freezers, digital recording devices, and multiple heating and cooling systems. Residential heating and cooling systems are generally the third most expensive system in a home along with the foundation and roof. Average replacement cost ranges from $8,100 to $24,000. Current home heating and cooling systems are ever more complicated with delicate onboard electronics to monitor and control temperature, humidity, and even ventilation. These controls and sensors are ultra-sensitive to incoming voltage and current and should have some form of electrical surge protection.
Electrical Under-Voltages and Brownouts
Another type of electrical power quality issue are brown-outs or under-voltages. A brown-out is a temporary interruption of power most often associated with flickering or dimming lights which can last a few seconds to hours. Causes of brownouts include overloads and high demand on the electrical power grid especially at peak times. These high demand periods often coincide with extreme temperatures and extended heat waves, severe storms that disrupt the grid, and old electrical transmission lines. In some instances an electrical provider may intentionally create a brownout by limiting power to parts of the grid in an effort to avoid a more serious blackout due to electrical infrastructure failure. An unseen or often unnoticed consequence of under-voltages are excessive heat created in appliances and equipment motors. The additional heat breaks down wire insulation damaging motor windings and shortening equipment life. A Harris survey sponsored by Intermatic found 44 percent of homeowners have experienced a brown-out with 12 percent replacing major equipment and appliances. The American Society of Civil Engineers assess annual damage caused by brownouts to exceed $79 billion per year.
Whole Home Surge Protection Defends Against Indirect Lightning
Locations with a high density of lightning strokes are good candidates for surge protection. NLDN (National Lightning Detection Network) found the Kansas City region has one of the highest densities per mile and highest counts in total of lightning in the United States. In 2020 alone, Missouri and Kansas received a combined 15,141,095 cloud-to-ground lightning strokes. The key is having a quality surge protection device properly installed and with a high surge current rating. Most plug-in style surge devices are rated at a scant 5kA, 5,000 amperes rating, whereas whole home surge protectors range from 60 to 100kA, 100,000 amperes of protection. Finally, whole home surge protection provides six modes of protection versus 2 modes afforded by most type-three plug-in surge protection devices.
Financial Case for Whole Home Surge Protection
Not all home insurance policies provide coverage for damage caused by electrical surges. Some insurers offer optional coverage through personal property riders, and for homeowners’ policies that do provide coverage for electrical surges, research by CNBC found the average U.S. deductible is $1,200. In all cases, the III recommends homeowners take proactive measures such as installing electrical surge protectors in the home. When surge protection installation cost is less than the insurance deductible, SPDs make a prudent financial decision. Taking into account the inconvenience and time associated with replacing multiple appliances, particularly with long wait times, surge protection almost always makes sense.
Home Performance Group Surge Protection Installation in Kansas City
Interested in a whole home electrical surge protector, consider hiring a licensed electrical professional with expert knowledge to properly wire and install an SPD to your main electrical panel. A small upfront investment in electrical protection can save thousands in future repairs, mitigate the chance of a home fire, and minimize inconvenience.
At Home Performance Group, we continue to invest in electrical technical training so we can install all types of electrical surge protection both at the main panel and supplemental protection at high dollar equipment. We have performed numerous surge protection device installations for our clients. If you are interested in a no cost in-home consultation, schedule with a Solutions Advisor today.
If you are interested in a no-cost in-home consultation, schedule with a Solutions Advisor today.
Article by Larry L. Motley Jr., 16 August 2021
Larry is a graduate of both Wentworth Military Academy and Missouri Western State University earning a double bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance. Additionally, he maintains six professional tradesman licenses in two states and advanced credentialing in green technology, project and program management, and process improvement. Larry is a three-time combat veteran having served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn, and Operation Inherent Resolve. He continues to serve through a value-based building science company focused on providing clients the best design, highest quality installation, and most honest repair services in the community.
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