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If you own an older home, chances are it contains outdated wiring and electrical components that were designed long before energy efficiency became a household concern.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.
Electrical Panel Upgrades
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 trip, which is far less tedious than replacing a 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 the 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Chances are, if you’re still operating with an outdated fuse box, you’re missing the requisite GFCI outlets, too.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 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 essential (and required) around water sources and outdoors because they provide additional protection against electrical shock. As a bonus, they also offer improved energy efficiency over standard receptacles. Contact a residential electrician for a full inspection and outlet replacement if you lack the appropriate outlets.
Upgrading 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 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, consider investing in professional rewiring for your safety.
Installing an Electrical Vehicle Charger
Our planet’s transportation future is increasingly going electric. There are currently less than 50,000 charging stations in the United States. However, President Joe Biden issued a plan worth 174 billion dollars to grow the number of electrical charging stations to 500,000 by 2030.
Public Infrastructure isn’t the only place looking for EV upgrades. Families who have recently bought, or plan to buy an electric vehicle, are becoming proactive and installing an EV charging station in their homes. An EV charging station will help charge your electric vehicle more efficiently and safely.
Installing Light Switch Timers & Dimmers
Sometimes, the most energy wasted at home comes from lights staying on and forgotten. Installing light switch timers can help cut your light consumption significantly. With timers, you’ll be able to set a specific time at night when your lights turn off without you having to remember every day!
Additionally, dimmer switches can help you set a comfortable mood while shaving off the amount of energy used per light. Lightbulbs’ lifespans also increase with dimmers, helping you save on lightbulb replacement overall.
Using Surge Protection
With our electronic devices and appliances constantly growing and upgrading, our homes’ electrical systems will have difficulty keeping up. The more electrical devices we add to our house, the more likely a surge happens.
Surge protection may not help with the month-to-month energy bill, but it will protect the countless electronic devices in your home, saving you money in expensive replacement costs.
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 schedule your appointment, give our team a call at 763-544-3300 or reach out to us on our contact page.