If you own a home that is 10 years old or more, you may need to consider some electrical upgrades for better safety and service. We recommend the following as you create your 2020 plan for electrical updates to your home.
Main Panel Upgrades
Today’s modern technology demands more energy than ever before. On average, most homes use 30-50% more electricity than they did 10 years ago. This is due to larger appliances that include more features and a plethora of media-driven electronic devices. An older home may not have the main panel capacity to safely sustain the demand for electricity that is placed upon it. As a vital place to begin, review the energy needs of each room of your home and calculate your total needs. Then, upgrade your panel to accommodate your new level of needs.
Add More and Modern Receptacles
As you review your current energy usage in each room, take note of how many extension cords are in regular use. Unknown to many people, extension cords are temporary solutions only, and are not meant to be permanent. Too many devices plugged into an extension cord, in turn connected to an outlet, can overload the receptacle and pose a serious risk of fire or electrocution. As part of your 2020 plan for electrical upgrades to your home, install additional 3-prong grounded outlets in every room to accommodate more electronic devices and appliances. An outlet every 6-8 feet is a good standard. Upgrade any existing receptacles to current standard 3-prong grounded models.
Advanced lighting can not only save you money on energy bills, it can change the entire atmosphere of a room. For each room, determine the type of mood or environment is best suited, and choose lighting to create it. This not only means lighting fixtures but switches as well. Dimmer switches are great additions to many rooms to allow just the right amount of light for current use. Also, many homeowners are choosing remote control lighting or even smart options that can be controlled by smartphones or voice-activated hubs such as Alexa or Google Home.
Rewiring and Rerouting for New Arrangements
If room renovation is in your plan for the year ahead, it may mean that some appliances or other large items will be moved. Before making permanent moves, determine where you will need electrical outlets and switches and make those changes first. This may mean installing new lines and conduit to accommodate new receptacles and switch locations. It is always best to do this professionally, hiding the new work behind walls. And since this means some tearing out wall components, doing it first makes perfect sense. Also remember that bathrooms and kitchens require GFCI outlets.
Add Smart Home Features
New smart home features are designed to add convenience and increase efficiency and safety. Everything doesn’t have to be automated, but you can choose what makes the best sense to you and add those features. Note that some smart home features may require further upgrades to your electrical system; others may be handled by specialists from different trades (e.g., plumbing, and heating-cooling). Others may simply require some programming when plugged into an existing outlet.
Here are a few automation possibilities:
- Remote controlled heating & cooling
- Remote controlled sprinkler system
- Remote controlled lights
- Remote security & video surveillance system
- Smart thermostats
- Smart appliances
- Smart alarms, sensors and sirens
- Smart Hubs
- Smart smoke alarms
- Video doorbell
Wilcox Electric, LLC can provide more ideas or perform any electrical upgrades you require to modernize your home. Call Wilcox Electric for all of your residential electrical services in the DC metro area.