Power Surge SOS: 6 Essential Tips to Tackle Electricity in Your Home

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

Electricity is the lifeblood of our modern homes, powering everything from microwaves to smartphones. But as our reliance on electronic devices grows, so does the danger of power surges—those instant spikes in voltage that can fry circuits and ruin equipment in the blink of an eye. In a world where the average home has more than 25 electronic devices, managing electricity has gone from a luxury to a necessity. If you’re a homeowner who wants to ensure the safety of your family and the longevity of your gadgets, this comprehensive guide is for you. Here are six essential tips to safeguard your home from power surges.

essential tips to tackle electricity in your home

1. Proper Grounding Techniques

One of the most fundamental steps in protecting your home from power surges is to ensure your electrical system is properly grounded. Grounding helps in safely channeling excess electricity away from your devices during a surge, directing it into the ground where it can’t cause harm. It’s essential to have a professional electrician verify that your home’s electrical system is up to code and correctly grounded. Neglecting this step can leave your electronic devices vulnerable to unpredictable electrical spikes, posing a risk not just to your gadgets, but also to your family’s safety. If the wiring in your home is outdated, it’s crucial to have it updated by a certified electrician.

2. Investing in Surge Protectors

Surge protectors are essential tools in defending your home against voltage spikes. Unlike power strips that merely provide additional outlets, quality surge protectors absorb and ground the excess electricity, preventing it from reaching and damaging your electronic devices. When shopping for surge protectors, look for one with a high Joule rating, which indicates a greater capacity to absorb surges. Additionally, opt for models that include protection for phone and cable lines, as surges can travel through these pathways as well. Remember, surge protectors are not invincible and should be replaced every few years or immediately after they’ve absorbed a significant surge.

3. Consulting Professionals for Regular Inspections

Beyond proper grounding and investing in surge protectors, it’s crucial to have your home’s electrical system inspected regularly by a professional. A trained electrician can identify any potential hazards that may cause a power surge, such as outdated wiring or faulty equipment. They can also ensure that all of your devices are correctly connected to surge protection and advise on any necessary updates or replacements. Utilizing the help of a residential electrician will not only provide peace of mind, but it can also save you from expensive repairs or replacements. You can schedule routine inspections every few years or after a major weather event that may have caused power surges.

4. Unplugging During Storms

unplugging during storms

One of the simplest yet most effective strategies for protecting your electronics from power surges is to unplug them during thunderstorms. Lightning strikes are potent sources of power surges, and they can transmit shockwaves through electrical systems, causing significant damage to connected devices. By disconnecting your electronic devices from power outlets, you eliminate the risk of surge damage from lightning. It’s a direct and proactive approach to safeguard your valuable equipment and one that requires minimal effort. Additionally, it’s wise to unplug your high-value electronics when they are not in use, further reducing the risk of surge damage.

5. Installing Whole-House Surge Protectors

This offers another layer of defense against power surges, safeguarding not just a single appliance but every electronic device in your home. These devices are installed directly into to your electrical panel, intercepting surges before they can enter your home’s wiring. It’s a critical investment for comprehensive protection, especially in areas prone to frequent electrical storms or if your home houses numerous expensive electronic devices. While they represent a higher initial cost, the potential savings from preventing damage to your home electronics can be substantial. Always have a qualified electrician install to ensure it’s done correctly and safely.

6. The Importance of Updating Wiring

Lastly, it’s essential to keep your home’s electrical wiring up to date. Outdated wiring can pose significant hazards and increase the risk of power surges. It’s especially crucial if you live in an older home with aluminum or knob-and-tube wiring, both of which are no longer considered safe for modern use. Upgrading your wiring not only reduces the risk of power surges but also improves the overall functionality and efficiency of your home’s electrical system.

For example, newer wiring is designed to handle the increased load of modern electronics, reducing the risk of overloading circuits and causing a surge. Additionally, older wiring is more susceptible to wear and tear, making it more likely to develop faults that can result in surges.

Safeguarding your home against power surges is crucial in protecting your valuable electronics and ensuring your family’s safety. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, from ensuring proper grounding and investing in surge protectors to consulting professionals for inspections and updating your home’s wiring, you can significantly reduce the risk of power surge damage. Remember, taking proactive steps toward surge protection is not just about saving your gadgets; it’s about creating a secure and efficient home environment. Stay vigilant, stay informed, and make power surge protection a priority in your home maintenance plan.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.