5 of the Best Electrical Upgrades for Your Home Renovation

After Hours Electrical van with dog

Renovating your home is an excellent opportunity to overhaul its electrical system.

Often, homeowners focus on aesthetic changes when renovating and overlook the importance of an efficient and safe electrical system. Today, we will discuss 5 worthy electrical upgrade options that can boost your home’s functionality, improve safety, potentially reduce electric bills and even increase the property’s value.

1. Upgrade Wiring and Circuits to Prevent Electrical Hazards

The average life expectancy of home wiring is around 30-40 years. If you live in an older house, your home’s electrical system may be out on its own in terms of age. The dangers of using such outdated electrical wiring can’t be stressed enough. Old wiring can pose significant safety hazards, causing electrical accidents around the home. The dangers of keeping old electrical equipment, wiring and circuits include:

  • Increased fire risk
  • Inadequate power supply
  • Lack of power points
  • Costly insurance premiums

Here are the advantages of undergoing electrical wiring updates:

  • Reduced risk of electrical fires: Modern wiring reduces the chances of a house fire caused by overheating and power surges.
  • Prevention of electric shocks: Upgraded wiring ensures that electrical systems are properly grounded, which can prevent electrical shock.
  • Increased electrical load capacity: New circuits can handle the power needs of contemporary appliances, preventing tripping and voltage drops.
  • Enhanced safety features: Modern circuit breakers include improved safety mechanisms like arc fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).
  • Improved appliance efficiency: Properly rated circuits ensure that appliances aren’t over or underpowered, leading to better performance and longevity.
  • Compliance with electrical codes: Renovated electrical systems meet current safety standards and building codes.
  • Increased value of your home: Homes with modernised wiring are more appealing to buyers and can command a higher market price.
  • Long-term savings: Though there’s an upfront cost, updated wiring means fewer repairs, reduced risk of damage to appliances, and can lead to savings on home insurance

All in all, knowing your home’s electrical system is safe and up to date provides mental comfort and can potentially save lives.

2. Upgrading Electrical Switchboards

Upgrading electrical switchboards is a pivotal electrical upgrade, vital for any home renovation aiming to boost safety and efficiency. Old wiring and outdated switchboards and electrical panels present major safety hazards, including the risk of fires and electrical shocks. By modernising your switchboard, you’re not only enhancing the capacity to handle today’s electrical load from numerous devices but also improving the overall safety of your home’s electrical system.

Switchboard upgrades ensure your system is equipped with modern circuit breakers and RCDs (Residual Current Devices) that prevent electrical shock and even electrical fires, providing a safer living environment. Moreover, an upgraded switchboard can support additional outlets and smart home features, potentially increasing the value of your home and attracting prospective buyers with its energy-efficient appeal.

electrical switchboard

3. Embracing Smart Home System Installation

With the advancement in technology, there are a myriad of energy-efficient fixtures available that can reduce your energy bills while providing the same or better utility. Below are some energy-efficient fixtures, light switches, household devices and smart systems that can be installed in your home:

  • LED lighting: LED lights offer a long-lasting lighting solution that requires very little maintenance.
  • Dimmer light switches: Dimmer switches allow you to adjust light levels to suit the ambience and save energy.
  • Smart smoke alarms: Alarms that can send real-time notifications to your smartphone for immediate awareness of potential fires, wherever you are.
  • Programmable/smart thermostats: Thermostats that can be set to automatically adjust the temperature based on your schedule, enhancing energy efficiency.

Integrating smart home systems can transform your living space into a more efficient, secure, and convenient environment.

4. Increase Outlet Accessibility and Convenience with USB Ports

Modern life is full of communication devices, many of which need a USB port for charging. Adding power outlets and installing charging stations during your home renovation can be a smart move. It will effectively eliminate the need for bulky adapters and charge phones, tablets and other USB powered devices directly.

Safety remains paramount when dealing with electrical outlets and power points. That’s where Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) come in handy. These devices are designed to:

  • Enhanced safety: Automatically shuts off power when a risk of electrical shock is detected.
  • Ideal for risk-prone areas: Particularly useful in areas like the kitchen and bathroom where the risk of electric shock is higher.
  • Reduces electric shock risk: Offers protection against the deadly effects of ground faults, significantly reducing the risk of electric shocks.

For those with children, child-proof receptacles provide peace of mind by preventing young ones from using power outlets or accidentally inserting objects into sockets, helping to avert potential hazards.

5. Enhance Home Functionality with Specialised Electrical System Upgrades

In addition to universal electrical upgrades, considering personalised options based on your needs is also essential. Here are some examples:

  • Surge protectors: Protect valuable electrical equipment from sudden power surges caused by electrical grid fluctuations.
  • Ceiling fans with LED lights: Offer cooling effects and energy-efficient lighting in one device.
  • Dedicated circuits: Ensure major appliances like your air conditioner, refrigerators, and washing machines run efficiently without overloading.

Whether it’s a new cooling system such as an evaporative cooler, or enhanced surge protection through your home, enhancing overall functionality can go a long way towards improving property value as well.

Licensed electrician completing electrical upgrades in a home.

Don’t Attempt DIY: A Cautionary Note on Electrical Upgrades

Embarking on a home renovation can inspire a tempting DIY spirit. It’s natural to want to roll up your sleeves and tackle projects to save money and perhaps to feel the accomplishment of personal handiwork. While many aspects of home renovations might be within the realm of avid DIYers, when it comes to electrical services, it’s a field best left to the professionals with specialised knowledge and training.

Safety Comes First

Electrical work is inherently dangerous. Mistakes with electrical upgrades can lead to serious injury or even fatal accidents, even from events as seemingly minor as lights flickering. Proper handling of electrical wiring demands a thorough understanding of circuitry and adherence to safety protocols and local building codes. Licensed electricians have undergone extensive training to acquire these skills and knowledge. They are equipped with the right tools and safety gear to prevent accidents, something that the average homeowner may not have.

Costly Mistakes

What might seem like a small error in DIY electrical upgrades can lead to significant consequences, ranging from short circuits to potential electrical fires. These mistakes can incur more costs in the long run, as you may need a professional to correct the work, on top of any damages that might need repairing.

Permits and Inspections

Many electrical projects require permits and must pass inspections, aligned with local codes and standards for home safety and installation. These regulations are in place to ensure safety in the home. A licensed electrician will have the current knowledge of what is required and can handle the necessary paperwork and follow-up inspections.

Warranty and Insurance Issues

DIY electrical work can void warranties on your electronic devices and can even affect your home insurance. If an electrical fire were to occur and it’s found that unlicensed work was the cause, insurance companies may not cover the damages. Professional electricians, on the other hand, often provide warranties on their work and carry insurance that protects you if something goes wrong.

The Value of Time

Electrical upgrades can be time-consuming, and even more so if learning as you go. Professionals can complete the work much faster due to their experience and expertise. Your time is valuable, and there may be better ways to spend it rather than grappling with complex wiring diagrams and circuit puzzles.

Wrapping Up on Electrical Upgrades…

Renovating your home presents the perfect chance to improve its overall electrical safety, efficiency, and convenience. While considering aesthetic changes, don’t forget these important electrical upgrades that can raise your home’s value, keep your family safe, and save money on energy bills.

Ensure that these changes are made by a licensed electrician, who can provide high-quality service and guarantee all electrical work is up to code. By planning these electrical upgrades now, you’re investing in a home that’s not just beautiful and modern but also safe and efficient.

Transform your home with “After Hours Electrical” and embrace a blend of safety, efficiency, and modern comfort. Whether it’s updating your electrical panel, enhancing energy efficiency, or integrating smart systems, we’re here to ensure your renovations shine brightly.

Please note: This information is provided for advice purposes only. Regulations differ from state to state, so please consult your local authorities or an industry professional before proceeding with any work. See After Hours Electrical’s Terms & Conditions here.

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