The Pros and Cons of Whole House Surge Protectors [Explained]

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

We all love our home, property, and valuables. Yet, a surge of power can damage our electrical components and appliances. Power surges can destroy your electrical circuits, which is why you need to prepare your house for events like this. But how do you do it? Have you heard of a whole house surge protector?

The majority of people feel that power strips can protect their appliances and the home. Yet, it is not valid. Power strips are only helpful to a certain degree. Using a whole-house surge protector is more accessible and better. Moreover, it is also a safer option.

Let us dive in and check the drawbacks and benefits of these surge protectors. This information will help give you a fuller understanding of what precisely a whole house surge protector can do for you. Furthermore, you will then be able to figure out why this is something that you should have in your home.

The Pros And Cons Of Whole House Surge Protectors

A whole-house surge device is the best protection for power surges. You can also use a simple power strip. But the first option is better. Simple power strips offer low security against power surges. Power surges and outbursts can happen out of nowhere. So, it would be best if you prepared for power surges in advance.

Power surges may arise due to the following reasons:

  • When the power returns after the blackout.
  • Sudden voltage outbursts from power lines.
  • A fluctuation in electrical voltage.

A whole-house surge protector can control the harmful surges of power. You can also use an individual circuit protector for appliances. Yet, a whole-house protector will cover the entire property. Not to mention, it will take care of all electrical sockets and appliances.

Today, we will take a look at the pros and cons of surge protectors. You will be better prepared to defend your house after looking at the benefits and risks. Thus, you can also protect your appliances from power surges.

Pros Of Having A Whole House Surge Protector

Protection For Electrical Appliances

A whole-house surge protector shields the appliances plugged into an electrical socket. These protectors will control a power surge and keep the electrical items safe.

Such surges can cause harm to electrical appliances, such as:

  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • Laptops
  • Refrigerators
  • Humidifiers
  • Smartphones
  • Washing Machines

Your electrical products cost a lot of money. So, it makes financial sense to invest money in a surge protector. This protector will save your appliances from short-circuiting. In addition, utilizing this protector will save you money and take care of your devices.

Modern appliances are slightly more resistant to power surges, yet they can still be damaged by one. These are very pricey appliances. The cost of repairing or replacing these will make a dent in your savings. So, instead of having to pay costly repair and replacement costs, you can save this money and use a surge protector to protect your appliances.

Protecting The Entire Property

The whole house surge protector takes care of your appliances. Moreover, this protector also takes care of the entire house and keeps your family safe.

Surge protectors also protect the building’s electrical circuits. A single surge protector will take care of appliances plugged into an electrical socket. On the other hand, a whole house surge protector takes care of all electrical items, including:

  • Plugs
  • Light fixtures
  • Electrical Sockets
  • Appliances
  • Electrical Circuits

It offers you better security against power surges.

Cons Of Choosing A Whole House Surge Protector

It Has A High Installation Cost

The whole house surge protectors take care of all electrical circuits. So, these can be quite expensive. The most basic units start at $500. The price goes up along with the square footage of the house.

The price depends on a variety of factors, such as the:

  • Area that the protector needs to cover
  • Number of levels that the protector needs to protect
  • Number of sockets that the protector needs to safeguard from surges
  • Complexity of the electrical circuits

Moreover, unless you are an expert electrician, you cannot install these by yourself. There is no plug-n-play option for such surge protectors. One single mistake can cause severe damage to the electrical circuits. This mistake can also result in harmful results for you.

Thus, you need to hire a professional electrician to do the job. Yet, hiring a professional for the installation will drive up the cost. You will have to pay an installation cost other than the unit cost. This is one of the significant drawbacks of using a surge protector for the entire house. The higher price often drives the people towards single surge protectors.

You Might Need Multiple Whole House Surge Protectors

It may not be enough to use only one whole house surge protector. A single unit may be able to shield the devices from any spikes of power induced by external sources. But, it may not be enough to take care of the entire house by itself. After all, how much power can it take? This is why professionals recommend getting more than one unit in more significant areas.

You need to use more than one protector for the complete protection of your home. One whole house surge protector will connect your voltage meter and the power lines. One will join the voltage meter and the breaker box. The remaining will cover the outlets and appliances.

Cons Of Using More Than One Whole House Surge Protector

More than one surge protector will cover all your power adapters and electrical sockets. As a result, more than one surge protectors offer an enhanced level of security. These are also recommended for big households. So, it is excellent as far as protection goes, but what about the cost?

Using more than one surge protector will drive up the cost. Each of these would cost you more money than a single surge protector. You’ll be paying a pretty penny for multiple whole home surge protectors as opposed to just for one single unit.

How Much Does It Cost To Install A Whole Home Surge Protector?

To install a whole-home surge protector, it is going to cost about $500 for one single unit, and that’s not including the couple hours of labor for an electrician. Labor can vary anywhere from $200 an hour to nearly $600 an hour. So, to install a single unit, it will cost between $900 and $1,700.

However, as mentioned before, one single whole-home surge protector might not be enough. In this case, you will have to pay someone to install two to three units. The cost for this will range from $1,800 to about $3,900. The $1,800 would be for two units and 4 hours of labor at $200 per hour. The $3,900 would be three units and 4 hours of work at $600 per hour.

Is It Worth Installing A Whole Home Surge Protector?

Whether it’s worth it or not to install a whole house surge protector depends entirely on your circumstances. If you’re not in an area that gets a lot of power surges, then perhaps it would be better to get the singular surge protectors to protect certain appliances and electronics.

The electronics and appliances that are most prone to damage from power surges include:

  • Laptop and desktop computers
  • Washer/Dryer
  • Televisions
  • Your Fridge
  • Tablet
  • Smartphone

If you were to take just $500 and get some decent surge protectors for these pieces of equipment, it would save you thousands of dollars in installation and labor fees. However, if you do get a lot of power surges, then paying $3,000 for a whole house surge protector is cheaper than thousands of dollars to replace or repair any damage that’s done by the surge.

Don’t Insurance Plans Cover Damage From Power Surges?

Depending on your insurance company, and the property that was damaged due to the power surge, your insurance company might help you with the replacement or repair costs. However, you need to make sure you read the fine print to see if this is something that is covered in your particular policy.

More often than not, homeowners will be asked to purchase an additional specialty coverage. For instance, if you’re in an area that has a lot of storms, you may be asked to buy a specialty add-on to cover power surges. It’s essential that you talk to your insurance agent to find out whether they cover power surges. If not, you will need to purchase a whole home surge protector or switch insurance companies.

Wrapping Up

Should you invest your money into protecting your house? Should you use a whole house surge protector? Yes. The cost may blow your mind at first. But, the surge protector will protect your electrical circuits. It will also save your costly appliances in the long run.

Choosing to install a whole house surge protector is a one-time investment. In turn, it will ensure that your appliances are safe. It will also keep the residents safe and away from the dangers of power surges. Power strips may work. But, a whole house surge protector will take care of everything with ease.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

More by Upgraded Home Team