Why buy an AC surge protector and how it works
Just about all the electrical appliances in the house come at a high cost. This is true for ACs as well. Also, power surges in your home tend to happen now and then. These power surges can damage your AC to a point where it no longer works. This is why you need to protect it using an AC surge protector.
When electrical currents are in the normal working range, a surge protector lets them flow so they can continue powering your devices. However, there is the presence of a pressure-sensitive valve that works when the power is in excess. This component serves to redirect the excess energy, so it doesn’t end up damaging your electronics.
Features to consider when choosing a surge protector for an air conditioner
Most manufacturers will provide you with a lot of information about their products so that you can gauge whether the item is worth buying or not. With this data, you should be able to estimate whether the tool is enough for your power protection needs or not.
However, this information might seem like technical jargon to a lot of you. It might also further confuse you rather than make things clear. Nonetheless, if you read the below section, you will know what terms to expect and what they mean.
SPD stands for surge protection device, and even in our list, there are a couple of type options that you may have come across. They range from type 1 to type 3.
Type 1 and type 2 may be able to protect the whole house from surges and not just the AC. Type 1 is installed near the main disconnect. This ensures that power is regulated even before it is provided to the different parts of the house. More often than not, these products are installed outside the home.
Type 2 SPDs are also installed in a central location that is often inside the house. This is the electrical switchboard which still provides electricity to multiple areas of the house. This means numerous appliances are protected by the product.
You can also choose a type 3 SPD such as the Belkin 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector. However, be careful as these are often meant for use with low power appliances such as a TV, fan or sound system. Usually, they take the form of a power strip and may even have multiple outputs that you can connect to your electronics.
Protection modes can also help you decide whether you want to purchase a particular device or not. They are denoted as L-L, L-G, or L-N. The more protection modes a device offers, the more it can protect against power surges from different sources. This is one of the reasons why the Leviton 51120-1 is so highly rated.
Maximum Surge Current Capacity
You also want to be able to protect your device against the largest of surges. This is why you choose devices with a large maximum surge current capacity. If you live in an area prone to lightning strikes, you may want to pay close attention to this area even more. This is because lightning often has the effect of increasing the current to unprecedented levels.
Short Circuit Current Rating (SCCR)
Additionally, it would be smart to choose a tool with a very high short circuit current rating. This way, when a short circuit does happen, and a current is trapped in the device, the purchase will be able to withstand it until the said current can be released safely.
Maximum Continuous Operating Voltage (MCOV)
We have also endeavored to provide the MCOV figures for all the tools that we listed above. So long as the voltage stays below this value, your appliances will also receive a steady supply of the power they need. Check these values and compare them to the power ratings of your appliances if you want the best results.
NEMA Enclosure Type
Also, the device you choose should come with an enclosure that is compatible with where it is supposed to be installed. Different NEMA enclosure types have different characteristics. Some will protect against dust. For such a device, it cannot be installed outdoors since moisture may lead to damage.
Some feature UV resistant and watertight enclosures like that of the Intermatic AG3000 mentioned above. For this tool, installation outside the house shouldn’t be problematic. This implies that you should pay particular attention to the enclosure type of any device you deem worth buying. Of course, this will allow for better planning where the installation is concerned.
This is different from most of the other measures of quality since the lower the value, the better.
The clamping voltage, of course, refers to how much power the protector will allow through before it starts to divert it. A good rating is about 400v, but you can go even lower than that for more protection to your devices.
Number of outlets
This only applies to type 3 devices such as the Pipeman’s Installation Solution PROTECTX-AC and the Belkin 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector. Even with these two examples, the difference in the number of outlets is astounding. Nevertheless, if you only want to connect one AC machine to the surge protector, why would you choose a device with 12 outlets? On the other hand inventions with multiple outlets give you the option of connecting multiple devices directly, which is a huge benefit.
Most high-quality devices will also be able to tell you when a surge or spike is happening. For that information, you just need to look at the LED lights provided. As such you won’t be left wondering why the AC suddenly went off. Also, if the tool is working normally, it should be able to show you some indication of the same.
If such a device fails during a power surge, you will lose more than the surge protector. You will likely have to use thousands of dollars replacing your AC, TV, refrigerator and a bunch of other electronics. This being the case, you should choose only the best surge protectors even if it means spending more money.
Also, the best surge protectors provide a warranty for all connected appliances as well. The duration of the warranty also matters, which is why the EATON CHSPT2ULTRA is a top product with its lifetime warranty.