Think about how many devices and appliances in your home consume electricity. Most likely, you have a handful of appliances like your washer, dryer, microwave, stove (unless it’s a gas stove), and refrigerator. After that, you have all of your battery-powered devices that need charging, like laptops, phones, speakers, and tablets. When you add it all up, you may realize that your home is handling quite a few electrical devices.

At Merv Electric in the Seattle area, we believe that your home should be able to safely and efficiently handle the electrical needs of a modern resident. From reconfiguring your house’s wiring to upgrading your main circuit breaker, Merv Electric is here to help you. Today, we are going to talk about the six essential upgrades for your homes electrical system. Remember, if you need a professional, licensed electrician in the Seattle area, call Merv Electric today at 206-945-5750.

Upgrade your Electrical Service Panel

Before starting on the task of rewiring your home, it is important to know that a professional should be hired for this job. Amateur electricians or weekend warriors will be hard pressed to complete a rewiring project in a safe and efficient manner. Rewiring your home, especially if you have an older home, will require upgrading the electrical service panel (breaker box). The service panel is essentially your house’s connection to municipal power from the street.

Older homes may run on a 60-amp panel, while most modern houses need 100- or 200-amp panels to meet the electrical needs of a modern consumer. By upgrading your electrical service panel, you are allowing your home to distribute more electricity to different outlets in a safe manner.

Electrical Wiring Upgrade

Once you have your upgraded service panel, you can begin planning on where new outlets in your home can be placed, or where your large appliances can be plugged in. Make sure that your new electrical wiring is substantial for both today and tomorrow’s technology and appliances. Once you have determined that your home has a large enough service panel, you will want to ensure that the circuit breaker has at least one open slot if you plan on running a 120-volt circuit. If you are lacking space on your home’s circuit breaker, you may need to install a sub panel.

Surge Protection

Relying on power strips or single outlet surge protectors to protect your electronics from electrical surges is not safe or efficient. Because the modern home uses more power, it is important to protect all of your appliances and devices. Almost all modern appliances have a computer chip inside of them, and if lightning strikes or there is a downed power line, an electrical surge can completely fry the appliance’s motherboard.

If there is a major power surge, an individual circuit surge suppressor can only do so much. That is why it is important to install a whole-house surge suppressor that is hard-wired to the service panel. Having a whole-house surge protector will stop about 85 percent of the excess voltage, which is why it is still important to hang on to the individual circuit surge protectors for your computers and more delicate devices.

Individual Outlet Upgrades

Upgrading your home’s outlets may seem like one of the most common upgrades. Today, there are tons of options for upgrading your outlets to make your house safer, efficient, and more functional.

  • USB Outlets. Having USB outlets built into the wall will cut down on bulky chargers and adapters. Most personal devices use USB chargers, so upgrading your home with USB outlets will allow you to power your devices in a more streamlined manner.
  • Recessed Outlets. If you are tired of having your plugs protrude from the wall, recessed outlets are set into the wall so most power cords can lay flush with the wall. This is especially handy for cables and cords that plug-in behind furniture.
  • Tamper Resistant Receptacles (TRR). TRRs minimize the risk of electrocution from putting metal objects into the outlet. If you have children, this is an essential outlet upgrade to protect your loved ones.
  • Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI). If you have any appliances or electronics that have damaged wiring, an AFCI will stop the wiring from overheating, reducing the risk of electrical fires. For peace of mind, be sure to install AFCIs in your home.

Whenever you decide to do electrical upgrades for your home in the Seattle area, be sure to consult the experts at Merv Electric. With years of experience, our technicians will get the job done safely and efficiently. Give us a call today at 206-945-5750 for a master certified electrician.