When we talk about energy efficiency in the home, we’re opening up a can of worms. The fact is, there are numerous factors involved in energy efficiency that range from power-hungry appliances to an outdated heating and cooling system. Something that is often overlooked, however, is the electrical system itself.
Older homes suffer from worn out parts. When electrical components become old or worn, they do not conduct electricity as well as they should. Thus, either the entire electrical system is effected, or the current is slowed down. In either case your wiring and other electrical parts are not performing efficiently.
Get Your Home Inspected
The best way to determine your system’s performance is to have it inspected by a licensed and seasoned electrician. A specialist can pinpoint critical areas in your wiring where efficiency is an issue. They can take you step by step through the process and then make recommendations on how to upgrade your system. What do electricians look for? Below are four main checkpoints in your home’s electrical network.
● The Panel
The main panel, A.K.A., the fuse box is the hub of all electrical current running through the walls. When an electrical charge comes in from the power line outside, it is controlled by the fuse box and then distributed through the wiring. Without the fuse box, a hazardous level of electrical current will surge ever outlet in your home. When a panel gets old, its ability to control the current weakens. Thus, it is no longer operating in an efficient manner.
● The Outlets
Many cities and state codes now require contractors to install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) in key areas of the house where water is present or in use. Areas would include the kitchen, bathroom, garage, or receptacles outside the house. When a GFCI senses a circuit overload due to water it automatically cuts the circuit to avoid electrocution. GFCIs are also much more energy efficient than standard outlets.
● The Wiring
Aluminum wiring is dangerous when connected to light switches, receptacles, and light fixtures. It can’t hold a connection without deteriorating. If you have a one-room house with a stove and that’s it, then knob & tube will suffice. If not, be prepared for power outages, daily. If it’s on the list above, then you need to have it replaced as soon as possible.
The following types of wiring need to be replaced:
○ Copper clad aluminum
○ Knob & tube
○ Solid iron pipe wire
○ Tinned copper wire
● Light Switches and Dimmer Switches
Surprisingly, light switches have a life expectancy of up to 30 years. Dimmers can perform for at least 20. But there’s a difference between life expectancy and energy efficiency. Like all other parts as the switches get old, they will not perform well. It is recommended to change out light switches at least once every ten years so that they perform efficiently.
For all of your home’s electrical needs give us a call at Harrison Electric! Interested in getting an estimate for your project? You can request on on our website or give us a call at 765-544-3300.