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Energy CostsIN CHARLOTTEFebruary 22, 2022by AndrewDo I Need a Whole Home Surge Protector?

Regular surge protectors might do an ok job protecting the electronics or appliances you have hooked up to them. What can you do to protect all of the electronics in your home, and a home’s whole electric system? Whole home surge protectors could be the best way to protect everything electric in your home from electric storms, power surges, power drops and other odd, sudden situations which can cause malfunctions, failures, outages and even fires.

Whole house surge protectors secure your house’s appliances and all electric system and components from being damaged by electrical surges. Power strips or smaller surge protectors can help in certain events, but only for what’s connected to the one strip. Whole house surge protectors protect a whole system and everything connected to it. They are also safer and more secure than regular power strips.

If you’re thinking about the pros and cons of a whole home surge protector for your home or property, here are some main positives and negatives.

Pros of Whole Home Surge Protectors

  • Protecting Devices

Whole home surge protectors are likely a very good option for someone trying to protect every electronic device from power surges and overloads. This will also protect the whole house’s electrical outlets and any appliance connected to them during a storm, lightning strike or outage.

Most of the time, sure, a surge or outage is just a minor issue. When such an electrical problem causes damage to expensive or important devices, like computers, TVs, phones, large appliances, refrigerators or part or all of a home’s electric grid, now it’s a lot more than an inconvenience. It can be important, too, that such damage or failures might not be covered by home insurance.

For plenty of reasons, installing a whole home surge protector can be considered a smart preventative measure for your home, your family’s safety and finances.

  • Protection for the Whole System and House

A complete system of whole home surge protectors, especially if installed correctly, will secure all the devices and appliances you use. It will protect every part and component of a home’s electrical system. Outlets, wiring, plugs and switches will be protected. A major electric surge can even damage major home-wide systems such as your HVAC system.

Whole home surge protectors will keep all of a home’s electric system and devices ok. Even more important, such a set-up may protect your family’s safety and well-being, too. Electric surges, then damage, can cause sparks and fires which can start a house fire.

  • High-tech Homes

Most of our homes, and really our lives, have so many high-tech gadgets and gizmos we use all the time. Computers, phones and tablets need to be protected because of all the info and data we keep on them. Even devices we don’t think of as high-tech really are these days. Many home appliances are electric, but also basically computers, with circuit boards, and they are vulnerable to power surges.

More to Consider

  • Most Surges are Internal

The majority of power surges, about 80%, are extremely short (also called transient) and they start in a house’s appliance. One frequent cause is a motor in part of an HVAC system. The quick surge itself is highly unlikely to cause damage. Many quick, little surges over the years can harm appliances, devices and systems. They can also cut into the efficiency and overall lifespan of devices and appliances.

  • Layers of Protection

    electric need a whole home surge protector
    Whole house surge protectors secure your house’s appliances and all electric system and components from being damaged by electrical surges.

It’s probably a good idea to ask an electrical expert about layering electrical protection for your home. This is a better idea if you have expensive tech or electronics which use a lot of energy, have many devices connected and running at once, or that have highly valuable data, information or critical functions.

If a device sends a surge via a shared circuit, then other outlets could be jeopardized. This is one example why you don’t want to only have a surge protector at the circuit panel. You might need a layered system at the panel and the points of use. A power conditioner with surge protection could be the best way to manage these shared circuits.

  • Getting What Works for Your Home

There are many whole-home systems for different types and sizes of voltage demands. Homes with 120-volt service (the common size) can utilize an 80kA-rated whole home surge protector as power increases over 50kA are unusual. A home with subpanels should put in protection for about half of the kA rating of the whole system. If you reside in a location which gets numerous electrical storms a year, a surge protector with an 80kA score would be a good investment.

Cons of Whole Home Surge Protector

  • Cost of the Surge Protector

The main disadvantage most homeowners come up against, then decide against a whole home surge protector, is the up-front cost of buying one or a system. A first-rate whole home surge protector runs from $300-$700 or more depending on the size and needs of your home and electric system. If this is too much for your budget or needs, then you can consider buying surge protectors or power strips for the most important appliances, devices or electronics in your home.

  • Cost of Installment

Along with the expenses of buying the materials and devices, there’s also the cost of installation. Without proper, dependable installation, the new surge protector might not function safely or for what you need. Installation, in short, needs to be done by a technical expert. It’s a project which needs expertise and a professional as it’s attaching items to an electrical panel and other parts of your system. This type of installation is necessary to maximize what the whole home surge protector is doing while keeping you and your family safe.


Your best bet? Hire an expert to do the job. South End Electric has the background and understanding to ensure a safe and smooth installation, including installing new whole home surge protectors. In addition, our professionals provide whole-house generator sales and installation to meet your needs. See everything South End Electric can do for you. Call us direct at 704-368-4694