How to Pick the Right UPS for Your Home or Business

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UPS

The increase in the frequency of severe weather means that power disruptions pose a growing threat to equipment and data within businesses and home offices. Many livelihoods depend on a constant supply of electrical power. Even a temporary stoppage of power can lead to inconvenience, decreased productivity, loss of data, and business interruption. Preparation for power outages does not need to be expensive or complicated because a wide range of affordable Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) solutions provide equipment with safe, reliable power, protecting investments and data.

A UPS system can act as an insurance policy, protecting and securing electronic device data during power outages. UPS devices offer reliable power protection for high performance computer systems, routers/modems, smart TVs and appliances, gaming consoles, and other electronics.

Choosing a UPS for your home or business

Several factors come into play when deciding which UPS best fits the needs of a home or small business:

Price

UPSs for homes and small offices can range from under $100 to several thousands of dollars depending upon the configuration. Many brands of UPS exist across the industry and buyers need to consider the price / quality tradeoff. Making a decision solely based on price can be risky as low-quality internal components can result in a failure to protect the attached equipment. (In the event of a lightning strike, for example, components can get “fried.”) Safety and reliability should be key considerations when selecting a UPS. Better-quality UPSs often come with either a lifetime warranty or an extended guarantee.

Energy efficiency

Some UPS devices offer “green” features such as power saving outlets that automatically turn off idle peripherals. A high efficiency charging system and an automatic voltage regulator within certain UPS devices also help reduce power consumption, which is ideal for cost-conscious home office professionals.

Runtime

This refers to the amount of time a UPS supports connected devices during a power outage. Should the power go out, how long can the UPS keep powering the attached equipment? For some, “the time it takes to provide a safe shutdown of a connected computer system such that no data is lost is sufficient” is the right answer. For others, perhaps a security system needs to keep running for several hours as a “bridge” until the utility power returns.

Load

A “load” refers to the number of devices (and the rate at which they consume power) connected to the UPS. If the user plans to connect a multitude of devices, a UPS with more battery storage capacity is recommended.

Size and weight

Some UPS designs targeted for the home market are optimized for larger loads and are overkill when keeping something like a modem, router, or a phone charger alive during power glitches. Choosing a form factor that fits your particular requirement will help assure that your investment meets expectations.

Storage medium

The batteries inside of the UPS are the components that provide the power when the lights go out. Consumers have choices in both battery size and battery types. Most UPSs that populate homes and small offices contain lead acid batteries. However, lithium-ion batteries are quickly growing in popularity, and they offer lower cost and smaller footprint options in certain cases.

Connectivity

Home UPSs can also act as important enablers of home network remote management and availability. In fact, some home UPSs are capable of monitoring a network connection and automatically cycling power to a smart outlet to reboot a hung modem or router. Users no longer need to be at home to physically unplug and restart the frozen device.

Discover UPS Buying Guide

Storms and power outages happen and will continue to happen, but home and business users can stay connected and productive with the right UPS solution. For more information on how to make UPS selection easy and stress-free, access Schneider Electric’s UPS Buying Guide.

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