So what’s the difference?
Power strips add extra outlets to your space. Vs Surge protectors defend against power spikes and energy surges that can damage appliances and equipment.
Surges to your home can happen if you have faulty wiring, when a high powered appliance is turned on (such as an airconditioning unit), or in the case of a lighting strike or other severe weather. Spikes in voltage are brief, but can cause a fire if it is powerful enough.
Which one is right for you?
Power strips are an affordable multi-outlet product that can be used around the home when your number of devices begin to increase. Although they are a great way to organize and add more outlets to your home, they lack extra protection against power spikes.
Although air conditioners and space heaters should always be plugged directly into a wall, surge protectors are ideal for other high ticket items. If you have multiple electronics in the same area or just want to protect your new equipment that may be sensitive to power spikes, surge protectors are able to prevent damage by redirecting the current from one outlet so that all devices receive consistent power.
Surge protectors are measured in Joules, a unit of measurement like a watt or a calorie. The higher the Joule count, the more ability your surge protector has to absorb energy before failing. With each surge the Joule count decreases and will eventually offer little protection against spikes. Keep an eye on your device and replace it when the Joules reach low levels for maximum protection.
Power strips and surge protectors look identical. Make sure you read the fine print, only surge protectors will have the Joule count listed.
*Information for this article gathered from How-to-Geek & Webstaurantstore
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