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Update Your Home’s Wiring

Older homes tend to have inadequate wiring for today’s multiple electronic needs. An updated electrical system can protect your family and home now, reduce your property hazard insurance premiums, and provide a “surge” of interest to future homebuyers.

If your lights dim when you plug in an appliance, lights flicker for no reason, lightbulbs burn out too quickly, or if you’re loading up outlets with power strips, it’s time to call a licensed electrician and update your home’s wiring.  

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), faulty or frayed cords can spark a fire within seconds and multiple power strips at full capacity are among the top reasons for house fires. The problem could be loose wiring, worn-out or loose connections that cause arcing and crackling sounds, or you’re using too much voltage for the wiring capacity.

Start with the electrical outlets. If they’re two-pronged, you can’t plug in any devices that require grounding in the outlet, such as your computer or flat screen TV. If your outlets are out of date, chances are your circuit breaker is likely behind the times, too.

Updating your old fuse box to a 200 amp circuit breaker will provide you with more power and fault circuit interrupters that can protect against fires and shocks (AFCI) and water damage (GFCI.)  HomeAdvisor.com suggests that a circuit panel offers easy care, no fuse replacements, and a better foundation for modern appliance use. Fire codes require that electrical panels are located outside the home, so plan on moving yours if you upgrade your electricity.

But wait - there’s more. According to Wired.com, electrical panels haven’t been significantly updated since the 1960s when circuit breakers began to replace fuses. Until now, that is. A company called Span, headed by the former head of engineering for Tesla, offers a single product - The Span Smart Electrical Panel. It replaces your existing circuit breaker completely, including any critical load panels and it’s all controllable via a mobile app.

A critical load panel is an important upgrade because it’s crucial to energy storage from solar batteries. Explains Energysage.com, “critical load panels allow you to appropriately size a battery for your home’s needs to get the most out of the energy that you store.” This “protects your appliances and battery from unintended electrical failures while ensuring that your most important appliances and devices remain on and blissfully connected.” 

There are other products available. A company called Lumin has a similar technology with a hardware device that attaches to your existing electrical panel. The beauty of it is that you can “decide in real-time which appliances or parts of your house you want to power with your battery…”

Before you hire an electrician, make sure they’re licensed and familiar with the latest technologies.