The electrical system is one of the most important parts of your home. Most of the other appliances you use on a daily basis rely on it at least a little, so it’s a good idea to make sure it stays in good shape. It’s also not a bad idea to upgrade your electrical system every once in a while. Wiring, outlets, and panels age and wear out just like any other system. If it’s been a while since you’ve invested in upgrading your electrical system, here are some great ways to get started.
Service Panel Upgrades
Your service panel is responsible for delivering electricity to your home, as well as keeping circuits operating within safety limits. The power that flows from the municipal cables first flows through the service panel, which then routs the electricity where it is needed throughout the home. Think of it as being like the water line for your plumbing system. When a circuit overloads, the system cuts off electricity to it until the issue can be repaired.
Service panels age and degrade over time, just like everything else. If you’re using a service panel that’s already been in service for many decades, you should consider replacing it with a new one. Not only will a new service panel be less likely to have problems of its own, but it will also perform much better when it comes to protecting your system from electrical overloads.
Two of the biggest threats that electrical problems can pose is fire and electrocution. Fortunately, there are some pretty easy ways to protect yourself and your home from these possibilities. Ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets are often used in bathrooms and kitchens, places where water might come into contact with the outlet and cause issues. The outlet monitors the flow of electricity through it at all times. If the electrical current suddenly starts to behave strangely, like it’s flowing into a person, the outlet will cut off all electricity flowing through it. This happens so quickly that it can prevent serious harm from accidentally being electrocuted. Arc fault circuit interrupter outlets (AFCI) do the same thing, but monitor the wiring inside the walls to prevent fires.
Even if you do your best to have an electrician check out your system once every year or two, eventually the wiring in your walls will become worn out and unsafe. If you’re living in a very old home with old wiring, you should probably have it rewired sooner rather than later. Rewiring will both make your home safer and allow it to make use of its power supply more efficiently. You don’t even need to rewire your entire home if you don’t want to. Just focus on the areas that need it the most, and you’ll be doing yourself a favor. If you’re not sure whether or not your home could use some rewiring, consult with a professional electrician.