You may have either moved into an older home or simply never thought about the old electrical components in your home. However, some of your outdated components may be inadequate, waste energy, or just need to be updated to meet the electrical demands of new gadgets such as cell phones and tablets.
Here are a few simple changes that can make a significant impact on your quality of life and make your home a brighter place, while also lowering utility costs.
Upgrading Your Breaker Box
If you are living in an older home, it may only be powered by a 50 amp breaker panel. Adding large appliances like an electric dryer or central air unit would overwhelm your electrical supply at this level, but even adding multiple smaller appliances and gadgets will eventually produce the same negative results. If you're experiencing constant tripping of breakers, you may need to upgrade your breaker panel.
While 50 amp panels were fine for homes with very few electrical appliances in the distant past, these small panel boxes can't handle the plethora of new devices such as phones, routers, modems or appliances such as microwaves and blow dryers.
It's best to leave work like installing a subpanel to professional electricians. Panel boxes carry enough current to cause death or severe injury.
Adding Additional Circuits and Outlets
Whether your breaker panel needs an upgrade or not, you're likely to need more circuit lines and outlets in an older home. You can only add so many power strips to the same circuits before you start tripping breakers.
Adding circuits to an older home is a daunting task because wiring must be installed in existing walls and ceilings that are typically filled with obstructions. It is also dangerous because the circuit lines must be connected to new breakers installed inside the breaker panel. This is another task best suited to professionals.
While you can choose to have two standard receptacle outlets installed, to relive the power shortage in your home, you can also choose to have enhanced outlets placed in different areas of your home.
Many families are starting to feel the strain of competing for outlet space to charge their phones. You can have USB enhanced outlets, with USB ports placed between the two receptacles, added to bedrooms and family rooms for charging phones and tablets.
You may also choose to have surge-protected outlets installed in home offices or near computer desks. These outlets can protect computers from damage and data loss when power is restored after an outage.
All bathrooms and exterior locations must have Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets installed, which shut off power when grounding conditions are unsafe. Power can only be restored when the danger is no longer present.
Brightening Your Home With LED Lighting
LED lighting provides much more light, at a cheaper price than either incandescent or fluorescent lighting. Switching from fluorescent to LED fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms eliminates the flickering, sputtering and hesitation of fluorescent bulbs, and produces instant light at the flick of a light switch. LED bulbs also last much longer than either fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs.
While LED bulbs are initially more expensive, they are quickly becoming less expensive as more LED bulbs enter the marketplace and as their longevity compensates for the initial cost.
Why stress yourself out with tripping breakers and a dismally lit house? Call an electrician and let them show you what they can do to help you modernize your home. If you're in the Sacramento area, contact Cal-Service Electric. They'll help you modernize your home’s electrical system and bring you up to speed.