by Kelly Brown
Since we are already deep into Michigan’s Thunderstorm season, I would like to take a minute to remind everyone that surge protectors are a MUST for your electronics. Power surges won’t necessarily cause a power outage so you might not even be aware that one occurred until you find an appliance or electronic device that is dead or not working correctly. There is nothing worse than discovering that your PC, laptop, or other device has been fried after a thunderstorm. Any work you had, your pictures (unless you’ve backed them up to a cloud service, which I highly recommend, though that is a whole different article itself!), projects, children’s homework, all gone…and you’ll also have to replace your device. What a hassle! Just avoid it all and use surge protectors wherever necessary.
On the other hand, there are things in our households that simply can’t be plugged into surge protectors. Most appliances, our HVAC systems, and other miscellaneous electronics. Though these things are still vulnerable to power surges, there are things you can do to protect them. The main one being to unplug them during a thunderstorm. Though this process can be tedious and it requires someone to be at home when the thunderstorm hits, which isn’t always possible. Especially as Michigan weather can be so very unpredictable!
Here is more good news; if you find yourself in the position of having to replace an important appliance or two (often multiple electronics are damaged when a power surge occurs), your first call should be to your insurance company. Your homeowner’s/renter’s policy should have something in there about catastrophic damage (and this is indeed catastrophic damage), depending on your policy and your deductible it may be cheaper to have your insurance cover the cost of replacing your appliances and/or electronics than it would be to pay for them out of pocket.