When purchasing electronics, retailers from Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and others offer an additional fee for extra service or warranty for protection. Whether for a $40 accessory device, to a several-hundred-dollar gaming system, or even a $2,000 smart fridge, consumers are opting to protect their investment. But a less obvious option can do even more to prevent the need for additional service and warranty by handling the power conditions in the home.
Power fluctuations and anomalies can come from the grid, an overloaded system, a storm surge, or even a nearby renewable energy source, and can cause degradation and damage to devices. There are a number of power quality factors that can impact the health of connected devices, including surges, spikes and sags, and electrical noise. While lightning is certainly a risk to cause damage to devices – it’s not the main threat to electronics because of its infrequency, which can vary by region. Electricity is assumed to be constant and flowing — but power fluctuates, and smaller spikes and sags are a greater daily threat.
They can be hard to detect, but power fluctuations are sometimes revealed when using large appliances or electronics: Have you ever noticed the lights dim after powering on a TV, air conditioner, or washing machine? The extra draw on the power affects the device performance. Electrical noise is another form of unhealthy power that can be a threat to electronics. It’s a high-frequency distortion of the voltage waveform, commonly referred to as EMI or RFI, and there are three types: Line to Neutral (called normal mode), and Line to Ground, and Neutral to Ground (called common mode). The high-frequency noise can be disruptive to systems and electronics, and when other anomalies are present in a home, the unclean power can cause damage and degradation to devices.
A TV that breaks unexpectedly could have been caused by a single surge or ongoing damage, or a security system that frequently needs to be rebooted could be put offline by power quality issues. The negative effects of unclean power are often denoted by repeated equipment failure and breakdown where parts or devices need frequent service or repair. Even when a customer purchases additional warranty or service, their devices will repeatedly experience issues if they are risked by unhealthy power.
Entertainment, security, smart home, computer, appliance, and other technology can be proactively shielded from damage through creating better power quality with surge protectors and power conditioners. Power strips are a common method users try, but are a shortcut that sacrifices quality protection. These devices rely on insufficient technology, using a series of Metal Oxide Varistors (MOVs) that have a limited lifespan: They pop and break inside the power strip as they encounter surges, even still, letting harmful energy through to the electronics connected, and have no protection against noise. To properly protect from power problems, more robust equipment is needed. A multi-stage protection, such as SurgeX Advanced Series Mode, can provide no let-through voltage to devices, achieving total surge elimination. This technology can come in a power-strip equipment, or can be integrated deeper into the home to protect a larger amount of electronics.
Power protection devices of this grade also include power conditioning, the process that cleans the power from EMI and RFI noise, so that electronics are only receiving quality, stable power at all times. Whether the home has unstable power from the grid, is in a storm area, has too many devices connected, or even experiences outages and uses a generator, clean power can be achieved to protect the devices and investment.
As more devices enter our homes, it’s important to protect them from downtime and early breakdown. While service programs and warranties can help with peace of mind, they are a temporary and reactive solution. Investing in proper power protection can safeguard technology investments of both large and small, critical or recreational devices, for the greatest potential lifespan with minimal issues.
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