Appliance Surge Protectors
Several years ago we had a new GE Profile refrigerator that stopped cooling, so we called GE and scheduled a service call. When the repair person arrived he checked it out and told us the main control board was dead and that they'd replace it since it was under warranty. I asked him if there was anything that might have caused the failure he told me that it was almost certainly a power surge.
So I asked him why he was so sure and he told me that mine was the third dead appliance control board he'd seen on my street in the last 24 hours, which means that our local utility had had an issue causing a surge, probably due to work they were doing in the area. So for all of us who have expensive laundry appliances with electronic control systems, an appliance surge protector is cheap insurance.
I like this one because it has a high joule rating, will continue to pass power to the appliance after a surge (very important for a refrigerator or freezer) and has an indicator light that tells you when it's ability to protect the appliance is exhausted and the unit should be replaced, but I'm sure there are other good ones out there.
It's an RCA PSAPP1R Appliance Surge Protector for people who want to google it instead of using the link to amazon below.