UPS Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Buying an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) can be very difficult considering the extensive range available online. A UPS offers you power protection for your connected equipment in the event the power is shut off, allowing it to safely turn off without any damages occurring. A UPS system is very important to have in your home or office, as this is where the majority of your most sensitive electrical equipment is found. If you are on your computer, mid game or even watching a movie when the power is unexpectedly shut off, your UPS will keep the equipment running until its particular battery life is reached.

It can be very overwhelming buying a UPS considering the extensive range available on the market, especially if you don’t completely understand what the difference is among the variations. Your number one priority when buying a UPS is that it obtains the power to work for your specific equipment. I’ve put together a buying guide for you to ensure you make the right decision based on your specific UPS needs, as listed below.

What type of UPS do you want?

There are three dominant types of UPS, they include offline/ UPS standby, Line-Interactive UPS and On-Line UPS. These three UPS differ in their ability to resolve particular power issues. You need to consider which power issues are more dominant in your location and make the decision accordingly. Let’s look further into these types of UPS.

  • Offline UPS/ standby: This particular UPS is suitable for resolving issues in the event of a blackout, power surge or burnout. This UPS works through a direct connection to the main power system allowing it to take over in times of need.
  • Line-Interactive UPS: This particular UPS is very similar to the offline UPS; however, it includes an automatic voltage regulator as well. An automatic voltage regulator is useful for correcting irregularities which eliminate the need to switch to a backup battery. It brings you more power battery and further protects your electricity system from voltage issues.
  •  On-Line UPS: This particular UPS does not have related characteristics to the offline or line-interactive UPS. Rather, when it is connected it is being charged allowing the voltage to maintain stable in the event of a power issue.  

What size UPS do you need?

Deciding on which size UPS you need is another important characteristic to consider, you need to ensure your chosen UPS has a suitable battery capacity and power output to work for your equipment. Firstly, consider what equipment your UPS will be controlling and how long you need it to run once the power is off. For example, is it for all of the computers in your office building or in your home? and how long do you want to use this equipment when the power is actually off?. Once you’ve decided, take a look at the runtimes and outputs of each UPS.

UPS has the ability to have a runtime of several hours depending on the one you purchase. If you are looking for something that can run your equipment for a very long duration then you might want to consider investing in a power generator as well.

Further, you need to also ensure that the power output is suitable to your equipment and needs. The power output determines how many appliances you can connect to it. So make sure you have a UPS with a large enough power output to control what you need.

Will I need to replace the battery in my UPS?

Many UPS systems will actually require their batteries to be changed; however, considering the high voltage they use a technician will likely need to complete this task for you. You can purchase some UPS with user friendly replaceable batteries, depending on its runtime and output potential. Make sure you ask the question when you’re buying your UPS, as it is often a hidden cost discovered in the long-term.

How do I want my UPS to look?

UPS are available in a range of colours, shapes and sizes including, desktop or compact, rackmount, and tower or mini tower. Think about where your particular UPS will be located and make the decision accordingly, in relation to the type of UPS, runtime and output you need.

What features do you want?

UPS are available with a range of other unique features that can improve your UPS experience. Some of the common added features include LCD display, power management and an alarm system. Each of these added features will likely benefit your experience, however they are unnecessary if you just want a basic UPS system. 
If you would like to discuss buying your first UPS or determine whether you have installed an appropriate UPS system for your needs visit Northern Lights Data, a UPS specialist. Northern Lights Data are UPS installers and can help you with your power protection needs.

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