8 Must-Have Home Electrical Upgrades
When it comes to maintaining a home, procrastination can be one of the most expensive lessons first-time homebuyers will ever learn. You may not realize the importance of home electrical upgrades right now, but if you prolong the inevitable, you could end up spending ample amounts of cash on repairs and maintenance. Outdated electrical systems, for example, increase the risk of electrical fires and shock. If your electrical system is incapable of handling everyday household use, you’ll probably experience in-home inconveniences such as an inability use essential lights or appliances. Beyond simply being at risk for not following local electrical codes, an outdated system will also likely cost you a reduction in property resale value.
For the sake of safety, peace of mind, and proper property value, here’s a list of our 8 must-have home electrical upgrades (in no particular order):
1. Ground-Fault Interrupters
Accidental electrocution is a real possibility if your home isn’t properly grounded. A ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet has a built-in circuit breaker to protect you from accidental electrical surges. In short, these devices quickly cut off power when they detect a difference between input and output current, which could otherwise cause serious tissue damage if a person has come into contact with a faulty outlet. GFCI outlets are particularly important in places where there’s moisture since water and electricity don’t tend to play very well together.
Bathrooms, kitchens, garages, and laundry rooms are spaces that should be on the top of your list when you’re installing GFCI outlets.
2. Whole-House Surge Protection
You have a lot of things plugged into the outlets in your home, which means there’s plenty of power running through your walls at any given time. Whole-house surge protection acts as a gatekeeper for electricity. It allows just enough energy to come in while keeping over-voltages at bay, thus protecting your appliances, lighting, and electrical devices. As part of the process, whole-house surge protector devices (SPDs) are generally wired to the electrical service box.
If you’re not sure you want to spend money on a whole-house surge protection system, just think of how expensive it would be to replace all of your appliances and electrical devices, should your home ever experience a sudden power surge. This is arguably one of the
3. Outlet & Switch Replacement
Why not take this opportunity to remove switch plates and outlets that resemble the Brady Bunch days, and replace them with modern finishes that better fit your style?
4. Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detection
Before tragedy strikes, be sure your home is properly equipped to detect smoke and carbon monoxide problems. This will guarantee your family stays safe when it’s time to turn on the heater and light up the fireplace.
5. Electrical Service Panel Upgrades
This isn’t an aesthetic upgrade. An electrical service panel is necessary if you want to enjoy modern appliances and convenience that simply outdo outdated electrical systems. If your home is more than a couple of decades old, some of the quirks that you attribute to its character may actually be problems related to an outdated electrical system; you may even be overlooking significant fire risks by continuing to use an obsolete system.
A properly functioning electrical panel is responsible for evenly distributing energy to each of your beloved plug-in devices. Outdated electrical systems and fuse boxes can cause many issues, from simple annoyances like flickering lights and the ability to use certain appliances simultaneously to very serious problems like melted electrical wires and other fire hazards. Any major home electrical upgrades should require at least a service panel inspection, but in some instances, an upgrade.
6. Aluminum Wiring
Older homes were notoriously built with aluminum wiring. While it seemed like a good idea at the time, this method of wiring has proven to be a potential fire hazard. Copper wiring, or the addition of copper connectors, may solve this safety issue, but it’s best to seek the assistance of a professional electrician before making a decision.
7. Outdoor Safety Lighting
When strangers approach, illuminate their path, and scare them away with outdoor safety lighting. Automatic sensors are also great for keeping non-intruders safe, as they’ll show you obstacles you may have otherwise tripped and stumbled upon.
8. Kitchen & Bathroom Lighting
Outdated lighting isn’t only ugly; it’s terribly inefficient. Take this opportunity to bring your kitchen and bath into this century while enhancing your home’s energy efficiency.