This Holiday Season, Swear an Oath to Surge and Protect

by Henry Truong

This is my favourite time of year!

Holiday lights, picturesque snow, and gatherings of friends and family. But all these wonderful distractions make it easy to forget about what keeps everything running.

Electricity powers all of the festive lights we enjoy, powers the heaters that warm us up, and keeps us entertained by powering the electronics and home theatre gear occupying our holiday guests. This season is a great time to start thinking about energy conservation and protection for all the gadgets that we can’t live without.

I for one can’t imagine not having my television or video games available for my nephews to give me a breather from all their energy. Here are a couple product categories that will help prevent any catastrophes with your electronics this holiday season and into the future.


Surge protectors employ quick blow fuses, which will help to protect the equipment connected to them from power surges like lightning strikes. The amount of energy a surge suppressor can protect your equipment from is measured in Joules and typically the higher the Joules rating the better. Higher end models also come with additional features such as line filters which help regulate the “noise” or unwanted voltage fluctuations coming from your wall outlet.

A newer feature that has started to become popular with surge protectors is energy conservation features. Some examples are the Monster GreenPower and Rocketfish Energy Saver Surge Protectors.

These work by having a master outlet that is monitored by the surge protector, and when the power to that plug drops a significant amount (such as when shutting off your computer or TV), the other outlets controlled by that master are also shut off to prevent the hidden power draw that most of our devices still use. Of course there are still “always-on” ports for your mission critical devices like your Personal Video Recorder.


A surge protector is a great line of defense for your electronics but to ensure you don’t damage the sensitive electronics running that 65-inch display or media streaming computer, you need time to allow them to shut down correctly. During a blackout the only way to get those precious minutes is to use an uninterruptible power supply or UPS.

These can be thought of as a large battery with a surge protector attached. The battery is constantly charging from the wall outlet and is ready to spring into action in the event of a power outage. Many units offer line filtering as well as surge protection built in.

UPS units are rated using a Volt-Ampere or VA rating and some units also rate the maximum wattage rating. Again, the higher the number the better, or the longer the UPS will power your equipment before it runs out of power.

For computer specific UPS models, look for a USB port and included software to automatically initiate the shutdown of your computer in the event of a power outage, even if you’re not home.

These products will help prevent any power related problems with your electronic gadgets. And even if you don’t implement them today, take some time to evaluate your setup at home to ensure everything is protected.

Remember to always follow this safety tip regardless of what you are using: don’t plug in more than one power bar into an outlet or piggy back multiple power bars together as you might overload your breaker and possibly create a fire hazard.

Have a happy holidays and may all your electronics have the power to keep your family at bay!

This content is sponsored by Best Buy Canada.

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Henry Truong

Henry Truong

Henry started tinkering with toys and electronics long before his career as a Geek began in 2008. Always having a knack for repairing found and defective electronics and repurposing them for the greater good, Henry’s calling for a Geek was made clear from a young age. Henry started as a Computer Supervisor and Business Sales Supervisor with Best Buy in 2007 but quickly learned that the Geek... more

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