Spring cleaning? Try cleaning your power too

When looking to improve the long-term health and performance of our electronic devices, the power socket is something we rarely consider.

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The quality of our power – the dips, rises and other quirks of voltage – give our devices a lot to deal with and can result in anything from momentary, unsaved work-destroying outages to complete device failure.

Many of us use surge protected power boards in our offices thinking they will protect devices, but sadly these are a placebo which will only sometimes protect devices from localised overloads. An Uninterruptible Power Supply – UPS for short – does what people think a surge protected power board does.

Like a water filter for electricity, a UPS takes power from your wall socket and stores it in a large battery. You plug your devices into the UPS and it delivers a measured, consistent flow of electricity to them. Other than the obvious battery fall-back benefit a UPS gives, there are other, more subtle advantages rarely considered.

Bad power degrades the circuitry of almost all our electronic devices. Sometimes devices completely fail because of bad power. That top of the line amplifier of yours which suddenly started to make your speakers crackle? That’s probably the result of bad power. What about the computer which has had three hard drive replacements? You guessed it; probably bad power.

The number one reason for using a UPS is preventing hard drive failure. The second is extending the life of your electronic devices. I have also found plugging a router into a UPS can even improve the reliability of internet connections.

At around $150 for an Australian-engineered UPS, ask yourself: could you benefit from one?