ESSENTIAL ELECTRIC UPGRADES FOR YOUR HOME
Think about how many devices and appliances in your home consume electricity. Most likely, you have a handful of appliances like your washer, dryer, microwave, stove (unless it’s a gas stove), and refrigerator. After that, you have all of your battery-powered devices that need charging, like laptops, phones, speakers, and tablets. When you add it all up, you may realize that your home is handling quite a few electrical devices.
At Merv Electric in the Seattle area, we believe that your home should be able to safely and efficiently handle the electrical needs of a modern resident. From reconfiguring your house’s wiring to upgrading your main circuit breaker, Merv Electric is here to help you. Today, we are going to talk about the six essential upgrades for your homes electrical system.
UPGRADE YOUR ELECTRICAL SERVICE PANEL
Before starting on the task of rewiring your home, it is important to know that a professional should be hired for this job. Amateur electricians or weekend warriors will be hard pressed to complete a rewiring project in a safe and efficient manner. Rewiring your home, especially if you have an older home, will require upgrading the electrical service panel (breaker box). The service panel is essentially your house’s connection to municipal power from the street
ELECTRICAL WIRING UPGRADE
Once you have your upgraded service panel, you can begin planning on where new outlets in your home can be placed, or where your large appliances can be plugged in. Make sure that your new electrical wiring is substantial for both today and tomorrow’s technology and appliances. Once you have determined that your home has a large enough service panel, you will want to ensure that the circuit breaker has at least one open slot if you plan on running a 120-volt circuit. If you are lacking space on your home’s circuit breaker, you may need to install a sub panel.
Relying on power strips or single outlet surge protectors to protect your electronics from electrical surges is not safe or efficient. Because the modern home uses more power, it is important to protect all of your appliances and devices. Almost all modern appliances have a computer chip inside of them, and if lightning strikes or there is a downed power line, an electrical surge can completely fry the appliance’s motherboard.
Does your home’s electrical system need an upgrade?
One of the most important things a homeowner can do is maintain a healthy and up-to-date electrical system. A system that is aged, worn or not up to building codes could be a huge safety risk. One of the biggest dangers of an unhealthy electrical system is the possibility it overheats, which could cause a fire.
An electrical system is not visible in your daily life, so it is important to take active measures to get it checked and determine if it needs an upgrade. If you are selling your home, a healthy electrical system is important for passing a home inspection. If you are buying a home, make sure your home inspection includes a full electrical system check before you close.
How the age of your home effects for the health of your system
We live in a technology-centric age, and nowadays we have a far greater dependency on gadgets and appliances than we used to. We use so much more electricity in our homes than ever before, and many older homes with old-fashioned electrical systems may not be equipped to handle the increased amps and voltage
Old homes versus new homes
The National Association of Realtors explained that modern homes are generally built with 220 volts of service, whereas older houses usually only have 110. In general, older houses can also only handle about 100 or fewer amps, compared to newer homes that are equipped to handle 200. To improve a home’s ability to handle more electricity, a homeowner must upgrade the electric panel, which Angie’s List explained is the control center of the entire system. The electric panel is responsible for how much power moves into the circuits and is then dispersed into the home.
Signs you need a new system
It is vital you do not try to replace or thoroughly inspect the electrical system yourself, as it is too dangerous and should be done by a licensed professional. Still, there are many factors that may alert you it is time to replace either certain components of your electrical system or the entire thing
Is It Time to Upgrade Your Home’s Electrical Wiring?
You’ll never know what’s behind the walls of your house! No, we’re not talking about mildew, bugs, honey bees, or squirrels. We’re talking about old, outdated and even faulty electrical wiring in your home. Even if your electricity seems to be in good working condition (your lights don’t flicker, there are no unexpected shutdowns, etc.), it isn’t necessarily functional and, more importantly, it may not be safe
Blown fuses. Do you feel like you are running to your breaker box every other day to replace a blown fuse? If this is the case, you need to call a licensed electrician to get to the root of the problem. At a bare minimum, you’ll most likely need to have an electrical repair done, and it could possibly include a complete electrical system upgrade.
Flickering lights. One of the easiest ways to identify a problem with your electrical wiring is to keep an eye on your lights. They will often flicker or dim throughout the day when your wiring begins to go bad. Obviously, a flickering light could signal an entirely different problem than bad wiring, but you should not ignore lights that flicker,
Discolored or warm outlets. If your home consists of two-prong outlets, chances are you have an older electrical system. Also, if you have outlets that are warm to the touch or that have some discoloration, you should address the issue right away.
Smelly appliances or rooms. This should go without saying, but if it smells like something is burning each time you’re are in your home, you likely have an issue that requires immediate attention from a qualified electrician.
IS YOUR COMMERCIAL BUILDING DUE FOR AN ELECTRICAL UPGRADE?
No matter how well your building’s electrical system was designed, there comes a time when an electrical upgrade is necessary. Upgrading your electrical system improves both the safety and utility of your building. If you find your electrical system no longer meets your needs, there are a few things to consider before contacting an electrician.
Signs You’re Due for an Electrical Upgrade
Many older buildings were designed when demand for electricity was lower. They were typically built with 60 or 120 amps and a few circuits for an entire commercial building. This was enough decades ago, but it isn’t enough to power the amount of electronics and machinery in use today. Nowadays, even small workshops require at least 200 amps.
Plan Ahead for Your Electrical Upgrade
Before you get in touch with an electrician, take some time to evaluate the electrical needs of your business. Make a list of the electrical appliances and equipment you currently use and any you’re planning to add, including lighting. If you’re existing lighting doesn’t allow you to work efficiently, consider upgrading to higher-voltage lighting or adding lights.
Note any areas where you’d like to have more electrical outlets, such as those where you’re currently relying on extension cords. Also consider whether you’ll be building any additions that will also need an electrical supply
Your electrician will use this information as well as information gathered by inspecting your building to calculate your building’s total electrical load. If the only upgrade you need to your system is an additional circuit, your electrician may be able to accomplish this by adding a subpanel. This is only possible, however, when your main electrical panel already supplies enough power for the entire building and your wiring is in good condition.
How to Improve Electrical Wiring in Your Home and Save Money
Are you frustrated by overpaying on your electric bills? Are you concerned about the fire safety of your home, or find yourself continuously dealing with the stress caused by faulty electrical appliances? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s time to give serious thought to upgrading your home’s electrical wiring.
Heavy-duty appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators consume a lot of electricity. These appliances generate heat which can wear down your existing wiring if they are not of top-notch quality. As a result, you run a chance of electrical overload, higher electricity bills, and a lack of fire safety in your home. If your property is more than 40 years old, it is time to consider electrical rewiring.
Your electrical wiring should be updated to power the latest electrical appliances. In order to sell your home, you need to have an excellent electrical inspection report to achieve the highest possible sale value. Poor wiring will more than likely cause you to fail the electrical inspection. Let’s take a look at a few of the best ways to improve the electrical wiring system in your home and save money at the same time.
Choosing the Right Wiring For Fire Safety
Electrical safety should be a top priority in any home. With so many cases of houses catching fire due to electrical overload, damaged insulation in wiring, or the wire itself catching fire due to overheating, it is clear that taking the necessary safety precautions should be a primary concern. Electrical fires can not only be fatal but also cost a lot of money. You can ensure the safety of you and your family and also save money by taking the necessary precautions to prevent fires from the start.
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that your home’s electrical wiring system is of the highest quality. Depending upon the number of appliances that you use, your electrician can guide you on the amperage required for your home. Taking amperage into account, you will need to select electrical wires of different amp ratings like 100-amp or 200-amp wiring. You should also avoid aluminum wiring and go for more expensive copper wiring instead, as copper wiring has a significantly reduced risk of overheating and causing an electrical fire.