3 Ways Power Conditioners Protect IT & A/V Equipment

Would it surprise you to learn that the power coming into your home or business may be low quality? Had you presumed that your trusty surge protector is enough to combat any issues with incoming power? Or, like many, did you not even know that “dirty power” was a thing?

Despite what many of us may have always assumed–according to AZoM magazine, living in a developed nation, and being served by modern power networks doesn’t exempt us from being vulnerable to voltage issues. Here’s a look at why that matters:

Personal Tech

1) Voltage Dips Can Make Everything Stop.

Campus Technology magazine had a really interesting case study of a college that was rebuilding its computer lab. At St. Norbert University in Wisconsin, IT staff and computer science faculty had great ideas for the space.

Mixed-use furniture, portable white boards to aid in collaboration, and tons of places to plug in for projecting were all well thought out during the planning process. What did they forget to plan for? Power quality.

The shiny new computer lab’s equipment was more complex and sensitive than it had been before the renovation. That meant that small vagaries in power–in their case little voltage dips that temporarily caused a bump to backup power–were sensed by the equipment, which stopped working in response. St. Norbert corrected their planning oversight and added a power conditioner to the lab in order to avoid the issue going forward.


2) Power Fluctuations Can Damage your Pricey Equipment

In another real-life scenario, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity tells the story of a power surge that came in through an HDMI cable to burn a television’s video board.

The “dirty” power coming into the home needed to be evened out, or “cleaned,” as it were, so a power conditioner that could protect delicate A/V items from the damage that surges can bring, was recommended.


3) Your Surge Protector Doesn’t Do What you Think it Does.

Protection from power surges would seem to be the one thing you can count on a surge protector to do. According to Computer World, however, while a surge protector or power strip may well do its job when voltage reaches a certain level, it’s not going to help in protecting equipment from other power problems. Even a well-designed surge protector will not be able to protect your components from the effects of power that is noisy and unstable.

But power conditioners can clean and even out your power, and thus safeguard your equipment against the damaging buildup from such issues. They can, as Computer World puts it, “minimize ‘gremlins’ in your systems; those little unexplained glitches and lockups that don’t have an obvious cause.”

And isn’t hosting fewer gremlins a goal that we can all get behind?


“Voltage Problems Facing Industries and How to Fix Them”

“Rethinking the Computer Lab of the Future”


“Power conditioners: Affordable insurance or waste of money?”

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About the Author

Mark has been with Smart System for over 6 years. Starting as a technician, he has risen through the ranks and is now on our Engineering/Sales Team, where he advises customers and designs systems for homes and businesses. He has been married for 26 years, has 5 children, and one grandson. For the last ten years he has been the senior pastor of Castle Rock Baptist Church in Jasper TN.

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