With all the political rhetoric about climate change flying around, many homeowners have begun searching for upgrades to make their dwellings more eco-friendly—are you one of them? If you own an older home, chances are it contains outdated wiring and electrical components that were designed long before energy efficiency became a household concern. If you own old appliances, they, too, were not manufactured to be energy efficient. What, then, are your options for improving your home’s energy profile?
At Harrison Electric, we know energy efficiency isn’t tied to a single upgrade because the energy your home consumes depends on multiple factors. While you’ll need to take care of the appliance situation on your own, below, we’ve outlined a few valuable suggestions for upgrading your electrical system.
Upgrade Your Electrical Panel
Still using that stone-age fuse box? If so, it’s well past time for an upgrade. In the 1960s, residential electricians stopped installing fuse boxes when the modern-day circuit breaker panel entered the market. So, if you’re still using replaceable fuses, it’s about time to get with the times.
Not only is a modern circuit breaker box more efficient, but it also supplies your home with a more appropriate amount of power to meet modern-day demands. Even better, circuit breaker panels only require a quick reset after they’ve been tripped, which is far less tedious than replacing blown fuse after blown fuse. If you’re ready for an upgrade, a residential electrician can replace your old fuse box with a modern panel after performing a comprehensive electrical inspection.
Do you know if your home has GFCI outlets in the appropriate locations? GFCI outlets are required per national electrical code, but many older homes don’t contain them because they didn’t hit the market until the early 1970s. Chances are if you’re still operating with an outdated fuse box, you’re missing the requisite GFCI outlets, too. And, if you don’t have GFCI outlets, you probably lack the mandated AFCI outlets as well.
To determine if you have the appropriate outlets, take a peek at the area around your kitchen sink, your bathroom vanity, and at any of your outdoor outlets. If you don’t see a reset button on the receptacle, that means the outlet is not a GFCI or AFCI.
These receptacles are important (and required) around water sources and outdoors because they provide additional protection against electrical shock. As an added bonus, they also offer improved energy efficiency over standard receptacles. If you lack the appropriate outlets, contact a residential electrician for a full inspection and outlet replacement.
Upgrade Old Wiring in Your House
If your home still operates using outdated aluminum wiring, you’re not only consuming more energy than necessary, but you’re also walking a very thin safety line. Aluminum wiring presents a hazard when it’s connected to light fixtures and receptacles because it cannot maintain a connection without some degree of deterioration. As the wiring continues to deteriorate over time, be ready to deal with persistent, daily power outages and soaring energy bills.
Without an electrical background, you may not be able to recognize aluminum wiring for what it is, so you’ll need to contact a licensed residential electrician to perform an electrical inspection. If your contractor finds aluminum, copper-clad aluminum, solid iron pipe wire, or tin copper wire, for your own safety, consider investing in professional rewiring.
Looking for a Residential Electrician? Contact Harrison Electric Today
If you’re on the hunt for a reliable residential electrician to help you improve your home’s energy efficiency, look no further than our team at Harrison Electric. We’ve been helping Twin Cities homeowners get the most out of their electrical systems for over 30 years, and we’d love to help you, too! Whether you’re looking to replace the old wiring in your house, upgrade your old electrical panel, or install new, energy-efficient fixtures, our licensed residential electricians are here to help you make your vision a reality. To learn more about our services or to schedule your appointment, give our team a call at 763-544-3300 or reach out to us on our contact page.