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Simple Electrical Upgrades

by Hickerson Brothers on June 2, 2016

Simple Electrical UpgradesNot everything about your home’s electrical system needs to be an incredibly expensive repair or replacement.  A few minor changes and upgrades are helpful, especially if your home is 15 years older or more.

Energy-Efficient Lights/New Lights

How many people does it take to replace a lightbulb? Quite a lot of people actually.  Fortunately, we’re to a point where energy-efficient lighting is affordable and simple to replace.  In most cases, an LED or CFL bulb no longer suffers from the issues that plagued them over the past decade (e.g. flickering, slow turn-on, buzzing).  Unscrew your existing incandescent bulbs and replace them with low-energy, high-brightness lamps.

Then again, upgrading your lighting suite to include dimmers (which reduce energy costs) or other control schemes that allow for customization on color, brightness, and even automated timing are great for improving your home.  Swapping out fixtures to match your home’s décor is never a bad idea either.

Ceiling Fans

Most people realize that a ceiling fan is a great way to keep cool during the summer.  It’s an interesting fact that fans don’t actually cool a room down.  Ceiling and floor fans circulate air, improving our own natural cooling through evaporation.  They also help to balance out overall temperature in a room.  Air circulation prevents hot and cold spots from forming, leaving your room with an equal temperature throughout.  A ceiling fan will let you raise the thermostat in the summer and lower it in the winter when used correctly.

USB Outlets

So many devices today use USB ports for charging and connectivity.  In fact, if you look around the room right now I’m willing to bet that multiple outlets are taken up by USB charging adapters.  It’s funny because these adapters are very simple in design and are standardized to work with all USB devices.  That means you can get the quality of charging (with a few special exceptions) out of any USB adapter.  So why waste outlet space with adapters that are almost always plugged in?

Electrical outlets are simple to replace.  In just a few steps you can swap out your existing outlets for new USB-enabled receptacles that offer a way to charge your devices without sacrificing needed ports or requiring additional power strips that clutter up your floor.

Smoke Alarms

Replacing your fire and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms is a simple upgrade you can make to your home that carries a direct benefit.  Depending on what you have already installed in your home an upgrade may be past due.  Combination smoke and CO detectors are perfect for detecting any possible dangers to you and your family.

Don’t forget to use alarms that use both ionization and photoelectric smoke detection.  Each type has a separate sensing method for different kinds of fire hazards.  For added safety, be sure to place alarms on every floor, in high-risk areas, and in every bedroom.  Upgrading alarms to line-powered, interconnected alarms is truly the best way to protect your family.  The batteries in these alarms are supposed to last the life of the product (10 years) while triggering every alarm in the home at once.  An early warning is the safest warning.

Professional Upgrades

There are times when you do need more than just a simple upgrade.  Many of these are to your home’s core electrical system.  Any time that substantial re-wiring or installation of a new electrical circuit are required, you should consult a professional.  Fortunately, there aren’t many cases when your home will need a complete rewire. An electrical inspection will reveal any problems, but if you’re concerned simply keep an eye out for these issues:

  • Aging Wiring
  • Damaged Wiring
  • Lack of Power

Hickerson Electrical is your source for all home electrical services.  We’re ready and willing to deliver top-quality service to your home at a moment’s notice.  So call today at (703) 594-3913.

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