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Time To Upgrade Your UPS?


A UPS (Uninterruptable Power Source) is like your devices guardian angel, keeping your electronics safe from power surges and power outages alike. Unlike a Surge Protector, a UPS is capable of supplying backup power to your devices, either to keep them running entirely or to allow you time to gracefully power down your tech.

There are 3 main uses that a UPS provides and protects you from:

  1. Power Outage: If there’s a power outage or a sudden surge in electricity (like during a thunderstorm), the UPS kicks into action. It switches from the power outlet to its own battery power within a fraction of a second, keeping your devices running.
  2. Time to Save: With the UPS providing backup power, you have some time to save your work, safely shut down your computer, or keep other essential devices running until the power comes back on.
  3. Protection from Surges: Besides providing backup power, many UPS units also protect your devices from power surges or spikes. These can happen when the power suddenly increases, which can damage your electronics. The UPS acts like a shield, absorbing the excess power and keeping your devices safe.


So, how do you know if it’s time to upgrade your UPS?

The average UPS has a lifespan of 3 to 5 years, but this lifespan can be lengthened by routine maintenance and care.

So, here are 6 things to consider:


You Are Exceeding Your Capacity:

If you’ve added (or are planning to add) new devices to your UPS setup, take into consideration the power requirements. Do you have enough power to support them during a power outage? If the answer to that is no, then it’s a sign you need to upgrade your UPS to one with a higher power rating.

Pro tip: When selecting a new UPS, you should choose one that has 1.2x the needed wattage, to leave room for error as well as to grow.


All Batteries Go To Heaven:

Over time, batteries degrade from use and simple aging. If you notice that your UPS isn’t providing as much backup power as it used to, or that it’s taking longer to charge then before, then you may be looking at replacing your UPS. Some UPS batteries can be replaced so that you can keep using your UPS longer. You can also add batteries to your UPS, but keep in mind that this will only increase runtime, and not capacity.

Pro tip: If your battery can’t support 80% of its rated capacity, it’s time for a new one.


You’ve Changed (But for the Better):

As your technology changes, so does its power requirements. If you have replaced or upgraded the devices connected to your UPS, the power requirements may be different than before.

Upgrading your UPS: Depending on the power requirement of your current UPS, and the requirements of the new one will depend. If you are currently using a UPS that can be plugged into a standard socket, but now require more than 1500 VA of power, you will need to consider different options for connecting your UPS. This could include electrical rewiring, which can be costly. If your current UPS is already carrying a large enough power requirement that you have done the work of rewiring, then upgrading is probably a better option as you have already paid for the work.

Adding a new UPS: If the power requirement for the new UPS is less than 1500 VA, you could plug it into an existing wall socket. This will be creating a decentralized environment, which could be beneficial for a few reasons. Decentralized environments provide more flexibility for future growth, as you can add on power as you need it. They are also smaller and more budget friendly, as there are usually no installation fees. Another benefit is that different devices have different power requirements, so you can have different size UPS and assign more critical devices to a larger/newer UPS.


Your Current UPS is EOL (End of Life):

Depending on the age of your current UPS, it may be outdated and no longer supported by the manufacturer. New technology may also not integrate with it, such as a power management software.


Safety Concerns:

If you live in an area where blackouts are common, having a better UPS with surge protection and voltage regulation capabilities could be the difference between life and death (for your data). An upgraded UPS supports your devices until your generator can kick in, or assists in shutting them down gracefully.

Many people ask if a UPS can give protection from lightning. The simple answer to that is no. However a good UPS will suppress most surges, leaving devices with none to minimal damage. A large strike of lightning has the ability to destroy your UPS, but it will take the fall for your devices, ultimately protecting them.


Increased Criticality of Devices:

If the importance of your devices connected to the UPS has changed, it may be a good idea to upgrade your UPS to one with more features. This could be one with remote monitoring and management capabilities. For example, if downtime costs are a concern, you would want to know as soon as possible if your devices were to shutdown.



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