Your copiers, printers, scanners, and other office equipment require substantial investment (from a few hundred to tens of thousands of dollars) and need to be taken care of so that they last. I bet you didn’t realize that one of the simplest ways to protect your investment in your office equipment – and keep them running – depends on what you plug them into.
Now, I hope, at a minimum, that you don’t plug your TV or computer directly into the wall, but use a surge protector. When it comes to higher-end office equipment (like your office copier), a power conditioner is needed.
A power conditioner (or power filter) goes a step beyond what a surge protector does and evens out the voltage delivered to your equipment as well as protecting it from power surges and spikes.
Surge protectors and power conditioners keep your electric appliances from “frying” their wiring by grounding a power spike or surge. Wires within electronics are designed to handle up to a certain voltage, anything over that rating and the excess turns into heat, which damages the wires. Enough repeated damage over time can burn a device out.
Voltage. Surges. Wall sockets. Why should I care about this again?
The electrical power in your office (and at home) fluctuates at times. There can be a number of reasons for this:
- All of the devices, appliances, and equipment you have plugged in drawing power and interfering with each other
- Poor or old wiring
- Fluctuations in the delivery of power into your building
- More dramatically, a lightning strike
Over time, these fluctuations in the voltage that’s delivered to your device can affect its performance, decrease its lifespan, and lead to outages (and services calls) that could be prevented with an investment of about $100.
A power conditioner smooths out the power and eliminates interference, which leads to smoother operation of your equipment. Common features of power conditioners to eliminate symptoms of contaminated power:
- Monitor incoming line voltage
- Protects from surges and spikes
- Some filters will monitor incoming line voltage and disconnect your equipment in the event of over- or under-voltage
- Reconnect power when voltage is once again at a safe level
Bonus tip for the home: If you’re reading this and have a higher-end TV, it might be worthwhile to look into a power conditioner for the same reasons as protecting your office equipment.