If you’ve ever wondered how a power conditioner is different from a surge protector, you’re not alone. The price isn’t the only difference between these two electrical gadgets. So, what’s the difference between a power conditioner and a surge protector?

A surge protector protects your device against power surges and impulses but doesn’t help much to prevent the noise and voltage fluctuation from causing trouble. On the contrary, a power conditioner makes sure that the noise voltage is stable and cleaned up.

This article comes intending to discuss the differences between power conditioner vs surge protector and which one you need the most. So, let’s get started!


Power Conditioner Vs Surge Protector: At A Glance

Power conditionerSurge protector
Reduces the effect of noise and interferenceSuppresses power surge and voltage spikes
Modifies input powerDoesn’t deal with power-related issues 
Monitors, regulates, and delivers consistent AC voltages to equipmentImmediately stops electricity flow into equipment in case of a spike
Comparatively expensiveCheaper than a power conditioner

What Is Power Conditioner?


A power conditioner is an electrical device that filters the interference and noise produced by surges to the circuit. There are also a few other causes that are introduced to the circuit, for instance, household appliances, dimmable lights, and unbalanced power.

A power conditioner is a three-pronged plug. When you plug it into the wall socket, you will be able to manage the voltage and amperage that flows through different electrical appliances. 

What Does a Power Conditioner Do?

A power conditioner is used to improve the quality of power from the outside outlets. This makes the flow of electricity smooth in your house. Moreover, it allows you to use several devices to get power from a single outlet.

Not only this, the devices use comparatively less energy as it is not subjected to power surges or high-voltage spikes that may cause accidents.

How does a power conditioner improve energy quality?

Well, a power conditioner cleans up the AC power signal by means of clearing out the noise that is an otherwise sinusoidal waveform. However, modern electronic equipment comes with its own noise filter to filter noise.

Most power conditioners try to keep the AC voltage stable regardless of any power surge or voltage spike.

It seems like an automatic surge protector which distributes even power across all outlets of your entire house. However, power conditioners offer greater protection than regular surge protectors.

Here’s a short review of some of the best power conditioners:

1. Furman M-8×2 Merit X Series Power Conditioner

This amazing power conditioner filters AC noise and reduces RFI/EMI, Spike. The surge protective device keeps your equipment safe and power stays clean. Its 15A circuit breaker and “Protection OK” front panel keep you updated as your devices are being protected. It includes 9 power outlets in total.

2. Furman M8DX Power Conditioner

The power conditioner filters radio frequency (RFI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) effectively. You can see the incoming voltage on the display. It includes 8 rear-panel outlets and a single front-panel outlet.

3. Panamax MR4300 Power Line Conditioner

Even though the line conditioner is specially designed for protecting and filtering power to home theatre systems, it guards against all spikes and fluctuations to all equipment. Its 9 filtering outlets feature AVM technology and level 3 noise filtration. Also, it comes with a $5, 000, 000 Limited Lifetime connected equipment protection policy.

What Is Surge Protector?


A surge protector consists of a varistor and is placed into the extension cords. The device prevents an instant high voltage spike from reaching up to the electronic devices that are connected to it.

For the exact reason why surge protectors are sometimes compared to the shock absorbers of your vehicle.

Surge protectors save your expensive devices from power out loads. When the voltage exceeds a certain amount, surge protectors don’t allow it to pass through. Different surge strips do this in various ways, but the most common way is creating a shunt to the ground wire.

The connection to the ground only occurs when the power needs to be prevented to pass through the surge protector.

If the surge protector isn’t properly plugged in, it may not be able to send high voltages to the ground. It would cause the protector to catch fire or even let the power pass through to permanently damage devices connected to it.

However, surge protectors include varistors that may burn out when a power surge strikes. That is why it is important to purchase the best surge protectors from the market.

Here I bring a small review of my favorite surge protectors:

1. Amazon Basics 8-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector

The 4,500 Joule 8-outlet surge protector comes with the highest electrical ratings of 15A/120V/1800W. It incorporates fireproof MOV technology that keeps your devices protected. Its cable is 6-feet long and the 3-pronged plug offers a user-friendly design.

2. APC P11VNT3 Surge Protector

This heavy-duty 3,020 Joule surge protector comes with 11 outlets with sliding safety shutters. Its 8-ft cable can be rotated up to 180 degrees. It includes a lifetime warranty and backs you up to $100,000 equipment protection.

3. Belkin Surge Power Strip Protector

The trusted surge protector comes with 8 rotating surge protecting outlets and 4 power outlets. The 4,320 Joule power strip comes in durable impact-resistant housing.

If you’re interested to know the difference between UPS vs surge protector, click here.

Power Conditioner VS Surge Protector: Which is the Best?

Both the power conditioner and surge protector protect electrical equipment from power spikes. A power conditioner regulates the voltage in an optimum operating range and filter outs noises and interferences.

Power conditioners keep the voltage from being inconsistent that may cause brownouts and that’s why they are often used for industrial purposes.

Considering the price, a power conditioner costs more than a surge protector which makes people uninterested in using a conditioner at home. If you’re backed with the best UPS surge protector, your devices should be safe. 

Also, see the best CyberPower VS APC surge protector devices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Do power Conditioners protect against surges?

Usually, a surge protector prevents power surges from damaging your electrical devices but it doesn’t help reduce noise and voltage fluctuations. On the other hand, a power conditioner ensures the voltage is cleaned and stable. It also provides minimal protection against surges but this isn’t its primary job.

2. Is a line conditioner the same as a surge protector?

No, a line conditioner modifies the incoming power based on the requirements of the devices. A surge protector protects devices from high-voltage spikes by disconnecting them from the supply outlet. Even though both devices protect devices connected to them, their function is quite different.

3. Do I need a power line conditioner?

Yes, certainly you need a power conditioner to filter the incoming AC power so that the devices connected to it stay safe from noise and interference.

4. Do you need a surge protector with a power conditioner?

A surge protector may protect your devices from surges or voltage spikes, but it doesn’t help to protect them from noise and interference. If you want to keep your device safe from those catastrophic damages, you may want a surge protector with a power conditioner. 


I hope now you get the difference between power conditioner vs surge protector for home and commercial use.

The power conditioner alters and modifies the incoming power to filter out noise and interference, while the surge protector protects from power surges and spikes.

If you’ve any questions, please drop them off in the comment section.

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