3 Residential Electrical Upgrades You Might Want For Your Old Home

Residential electrical codes are updated regularly so new homes can be built to be as safe as possible. When new electrical codes go into effect, new homes and homes that undergo electrical upgrades have to adhere to the newest codes. However, existing homes are grandfathered in and don't need to meet the new codes. That means your home could have electrical safety hazards if the home is several decades old.

It's good for your home to be up to code when you put it on the market, but it's also good for your family's safety and for the safety of your home, appliances, and electronics when your home is up to code. Here are a few upgrades your home might need in order to comply with current codes or for your convenience.

1. New Outlets

Updating your outlets might be a priority for you if you don't have the type of outlets you need or if you don't have enough outlets. Codes require that GFCI outlets are installed in places like the bathrooms, kitchen, outdoors, laundry room, and garage since these areas are likely to get wet occasionally. GFCI outlets protect you and your family against an electrical shock, so if your home doesn't have them, an electrician can put them in using the old outlet space you have now.

If you don't have enough outlets, which might be the case if your home was built before modern electronics, smart devices, and power-hungry appliances were common, you may want your electrician to install a few more. Codes also state how many outlets a home should have and how far apart they should be, so if you get new outlets, the electrician will install them according to new electrical codes.

Another change you may want for at least a few of your outlets is to have USB charging slots included. This makes charging up your devices easier since you don't have to hunt down an adapter and cord to use an outlet.

2. New Smart Home Components

If you want the fun, convenience, and usefulness of a smart home, you may need the help of an electrician to hardwire some of the components. Many parts of your home can connect to a smart home hub, such as light switches, your garage door, your thermostat, and your home security system. An electrician can route new wiring and hardwire the components or add new smart outlets where needed.

3. New Electrical Panel

An old electrical panel doesn't always need to be replaced, and since this could be an expensive residential electrical upgrade, you'll want to discuss the pros and cons with your electrician. If your panel is defective, then replacing it is typically a good idea. If the panel is small, and there's no room to add more circuits, the panel might need to be replaced with a larger one that gives you room to add more dedicated circuits for an electric car charger, a home office, or for high-speed small kitchen appliances.

Contact local residential electrical services to learn more.