Thinking About Major Appliance Upgrades? 6 Reasons Why You Should Inspect Your Electrical System First
Homeowners tend to enjoy their stoves, washing machines, refrigerators, and all other major appliances for quite a long time. Minor fixes over time and increasing issues, however, can lead homeowners to get in the market for home appliance upgrades. The average household in Hopkinsville, KY, consumes a great deal of energy, and the amount of energy that is needed to power modern technology increases as appliances evolve. If your home electrical system is unable to handle the growing demand for power, you run the risk of having to get very familiar with your circuit breaker.
As the problem becomes worse, the circuits in your electrical system can overload, which puts you at substantial risk for an electrical fire. Making sure your system is capable of keeping up with your power demands is imperative, especially if your residence is an older home that the builder didn’t design for today’s electricity needs in mind.
Too often, homeowners do not realize that there is a problem with their electrical system until things begin to repeatedly go wrong with electrical appliances. People have even made the mistake of buying new home appliances and hoping for the best with new installations, thinking that their old ones were cheaply manufactured or just bad products.
Often, it’s not until things continue to break and short out that most homeowners think to have their electrical system thoroughly looked over. Unfortunately, by this point, time and money have already been wasted. To save yourself headaches down the line, it’s best to have your electrical system inspected before making the jump to a new major appliance. Let’s look at some of the indicators that it might be time for an electrical system inspection:
1. Your Home Is Over 20 Years Old
Residential homes that were built over 20 years ago were not designed with modern electricity demands in mind. Though 20 years may not seem like that long ago, you have to consider the advances we’ve made in technology since 2001.
Smart appliances, smart security systems, and even completely smart homes have become wildly popular. This technology was in its infancy during the early 2000s, so it is no surprise that homes were not built with it in consideration at the time.
New homes in Hopkinsville, KY, are recommended to have electrical inspections conducted every ten years. If your house was forty years old when you bought it, and you’ve been there fifteen years without a professional inspection of your electrical system, you’re severely overdue.
Some homeowners don’t get their electrical systems checked out before buying a home, assuming that everything is in tip-top shape since that’s what appearances tell them. The electrical system may actually happen to be fine at that point, but years pass, and all kinds of new appliances and devices end up drawing power from your system.
As the wires slowly deteriorate, your home may begin to experience a variety of symptoms. Lights that flicker or dim randomly, devices that are plugged in being subject to electrical shorts, and smoke coming from outlets or appliances (more concerning) are all signs that your electrical system is in need of an overhaul.
Additionally, homes that were built decades ago typically have knob wiring, tube wiring, and other out-of-date technologies that are pretty much incompatible with modern appliances.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there may have been previous attempts to upgrade the original wiring system in your home before you bought it. There is no guarantee that the adjustments were an improvement or done by a professional, though. Contacting a professional electrician to conduct an electrical inspection and check your wiring every three to five years is highly recommended for residents of older homes.
2. Your Energy Bills Have Become Suspiciously High
Between record-breaking scorcher summers and more people working at home, of course electricity bills are increasing for most people. Still, some homeowners can find themselves scratching their heads every month when they become aware of what they owe that month. Perhaps turning lights off, unplugging things that aren’t being used, and only running your dishwasher or dryer once a week isn’t bringing you the drop in energy expenses that it used to.
Unbeknownst to many, an old or faulty electrical system can drive your electricity usage through the roof. The best thing to do if you find yourself with inexplicably high electricity bills is to call a professional electrician in for an electrical inspection. After completing their inspection, the electrician will be able to determine whether your electrical system is outdated or inefficient. An electrical inspection and the wiring upgrade that follows can help you save more money per month by decreasing the amount you pay to your energy bills.
3. You Have Been Hearing Weird Noises
When your electrical system is in dire need of an upgrade, you may begin to notice strange noises coming from your electrical devices or home appliances. Your fuse box or circuit breaker may be the cause of these unusual sounds.
When wires are loose and damaged, or circuits become overloaded, they make noises. If you hear a buzzing or humming sound from your circuit breaker, that suggests an electrical arc is forming. This condition is extremely dangerous because electrical arcs result in electrical fires for residential homes.
Outlets or switches that have loose wiring will create a humming or buzzing sound too. When a gap develops between wires, the electricity has to jump over the gap, which causes a buzzing sound. This buzzing is a fire hazard and should not be taken lightly. If either your devices or appliances are buzzing, or you hear what sounds like loud humming from a wall, you should immediately call an electrician and schedule a time for them to come. Catching bad wiring before it devolves into a complete system failure or, worse, a fire will save you a great deal of money and stress.
4. You are Remodeling Your Home
Remodeling a home is an exciting time for any homeowner. New installations of appliances, flooring, walls, cabinets, or anything else can really bring a different life into the home. More homeowners are choosing to go the DIY route, opting to improve their homes with their own hands.
While this is undoubtedly a fulfilling feeling and a heap of fun, it is best to call a professional out to ensure your wiring is perfectly intact. For a moment, imagine that the previous homeowners remodeled during their stay in the home as well.
The slight adjustments and ‘improvements’ they made to the electrical wiring of the home can create issues you aren’t trained to be aware of.
A professional electrician can take an in-depth look at your system and let you know exactly what work can be conducted safely, as well as provide suggestions that will ensure your home is both as functional and safe as possible.
5. Your Outlets or Switches are Warm
Switches and electrical outlets tend to get a little warm from time to time due to repeated use. However, if you have an outlet or switch in your Hopkinsville, KY, home that hasn’t been used recently and it is warm to the touch, that raises some concerns.
The most likely culprit for your outlets or switches being warm is an overloaded circuit box. Loose or damaged wiring can lead to a buildup of heat in electrical outlets, resulting in short sparks when you plug-in appliances.
If an outlet is concerningly hot to the touch, call a professional electrician right away. You do not want to take the chance of an electrical fire stemming from an overloaded circuit box.
6. You Have Experienced Several Appliances Breaking Lately
Appliances normally do not break down or completely short out for no reason. Modern appliances are built with long-lasting technology to make sure you don’t have to purchase another expensive appliance any time soon.
If your microwave stopped working out of nowhere, and then your rice cooker breaks, your first thought may not be your electrical system. However, if you buy new appliances to replace them and then they break too, the probability of the appliances being at fault is extremely low. When an electrical system is in need of an upgrade, the wires are old and likely shorting out. Simply plugging your new appliance into the faulty outlet can break your appliance almost immediately.
If you have noticed multiple electrical devices or appliances breaking, you should reach out to a professional electrician before attempting to replace what was broken. Bringing new appliances home is thrilling, but the experience can be ruined fast by the out-of-date electrical wiring in your home. In order to enjoy your appliances for a long time, make sure your electrical system is in great shape. The consequences of not paying attention to the wiring in your home can be far worse than having to buy yet another refrigerator. Electrical fires claim the homes and lives of too many people every day. Before you install new appliances, call a professional electrician like those at Travis Electrical Service in Hopkinsville, KY, and get the assurance your electrical wiring is up to date.