The average electricity consumption of US homes in 2020 was 10,715 kilowatt-hours (kWh). That’s 893 kWh a month, but because it’s the average, it only means many other households consume more. Larger houses filled with electronics and appliances have higher usage rates.
So, if you plan to remodel and expand your home, you can expect your energy demand to rise. Electrical upgrades can help ensure your system meets those changes.
The question is, which upgrades make the most sense?
We’ve listed the top answers in this guide, so read on.
Electrical Panel Upgrade
Also called a load center, an electrical panel is a device connecting the main power line to a home. It supplies and distributes electrical currents to a home’s various circuits. It also contains circuit breakers that prevent over-currents during power distribution.
Most modern homes require an electrical panel rated to provide at least 100 amps of total power. However, that can quickly go up to 200 amps in larger households with more appliances.
So, if you’re installing new or more appliances, it’s best to upgrade your electrical panel. A licensed electrician can help determine if you need more than 100 amps and, if so, install a 150- or 200-amp panel.
USB-Ready Wall Outlets
Another investment-worthy electric upgrade is to add wall outlets with USB ports. They come with USB charging slots in addition to standard prong holes. These are perfect additions to your home if you want to charge USB devices without an adapter.
LED Light Upgrades
Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs can be up to 90% more efficient than incandescent ones. They don’t ‘burn out,’ either, and last longer than many other lighting products.
Thus, consider switching to LED if you’re still using older lighting technology.
You might also want to include installing LED dimmers in your remodeling plans. Such devices allow you to control the brightness of the lamps, so if you dim them down, you can save even more energy.
Surge Protection Installation
According to experts, a typical US home has $15,000 worth of devices that power surges can damage. That’s one of the reasons surge protection became mandatory in US homes in 2020.
Therefore, you may not have surge protection yet if you live in an older home. That makes its installation one of the crucial electric improvements you can make. It can help protect your pricey electronic devices from high-voltage power surges.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Installation
An estimated 30,000 non-fatal shock incidents occur in the US every year. Some cause burn injuries so severe that patients require admission to burn units. Worse, about one in five of all electrical injuries happen to children.
GFCIs are devices meant to protect against such injury-causing electrical incidents. They work by sensing potential shock events. They then cut off the current flow before someone gets electrocuted.
That makes GFCI additions critical home electrical upgrades to consider when you remodel. An electrician can install them in areas where water and electricity may meet. That includes bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, to name a few.
Invest in These Electrical Upgrades
There you have it, the list of electrical upgrades to consider when remodeling your home. However, just as important is to hire a licensed electrician to carry them out. That can help ensure that all the upgrades you invest in meet safety standards.
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