Electrical system upgrades are an important part of every homeowner's maintenance plan. Upgrades to the core electrical system, including components like electrical panels, breakers, plugs or outlets, and wiring, promote efficiency and maintain the safety of the home. Other additions, such as attic fans and ceiling fans, not only provide energy savings but can also be decorative. Installation of an electrical generator provides an important backup in emergencies, ensuring that the various electrical systems of the house continue to receive power when the outside electricity source has been interrupted. Any or all of these upgrades can be important to the average homeowner, and a professional electrician should be hired to evaluate any home's need for upgrades or additional components. A professional electrician will provide these upgrades and install any additional components in a safe and proper manner, in compliance with local codes and regulations.

Every homeowner should consult a professional electrician about a number of key issues:

1. Wiring

A home's wiring is at the heart of the electrical system. The wiring provides electricity to appliances and other household items that require electricity to function. Old wiring wears out, leading to potential shorts in the system and creating a fire hazard. Wiring that is too old can also fail to deliver the correct amount of energy to appliances, resulting in sub-par performance of any device drawing on the home's supply of electricity. The failure of old wiring to deliver electricity efficiently also leads to an increased energy consumption, and an increased cost to the homeowner. A professional electrician will evaluate a home's existing wiring, looking for any deficiencies in performance or capacity. The professional electrician will upgrade the home's wiring safely, ensuring that the new wiring is sufficient to meets the needs of the home, is installed in a safe manner, and is in compliance with all safety codes and regulations.

2. Plugs

Electrical outlets or plugs provide a source for the homeowner to tap into the home's electrical system. Because the plug is the point of user contact, safe, up-to-date plugs are of the utmost importance. Old plugs become worn and loose, resulting in a poor fit between the cord and the plug. This poor fit can leave a gap between the cord and the wall that is dangerous, especially in homes with small children. The metal between the cord and the wall plug should never be exposed. Plugs that are old or not properly installed are also inefficient, and can produce heat as a result of poorly-used electricity, creating a fire hazard. A professional electrician can evaluate the existing plugs in a home and replace those that have become dangerous. The professional electrician will upgrade the existing plugs in a skilled manner, ensuring that each plug is properly installed and presents no danger to the occupants of the home.

3. Electrical Panels

An electrical panel distributes electricity to the circuits within a home. Older panels may not be able to meet the home's needs, particularly if renovations or new additions have been made. Signs that an electrical panel may be insufficient include flickering lights, repeated tripping of breakers, and a frequent need for new fuses in older-style panels. Many existing homes have 60 or 100 amp panels. The demands of the modern home, however, often require state-of-the-art 200 amp electrical panels. A professional electrician can determine a home's electrical needs and ensure that a suitable panel upgrade is made. If a new panel is needed, the electrician will install one safely, and in compliance with applicable codes and regulations. A professional electrician should be consulted before making major renovations or additions to a home, so that an appropriate electrical panel can be put in place before the work begins.

4. Attic Fans

Attic fans can be a key component of a home's energy efficiency program. Attic fans pull air from within the house, pushing it outside. During warm parts of the year, this reduces the load on the air conditioner, reducing energy costs and maintaining a cooler environment. Upstairs temperatures may be reduced as much as ten degrees, and the load on the home's air conditioner may drop by thirty percent. During cold times, attic fans can help circulate warm air and also vent potentially dangerous gases from home heating appliances. Attic fans also keep the attic dry and increase the life span of the roof, framing, insulation, and other components of the home. A professional electrician can choose the right attic fan for a home and ensure that it is properly installed, both in terms of electrical safety and for creating efficient air flow in the home. The professional electrician will also make sure that the attic fan is well-supported within the attic, and that it vents properly to the outside environment.

5. Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are key for circulating air within a home. When the weather is hot, ceiling fans can have a substantial cooling effect on the home, and with much lower energy consumption than an air conditioner. The reduced load on the air conditioner saves money and increases the life expectancy of the air conditioner. In addition, ceiling fans add elegant decoration to the various rooms of the home, with a variety of styles available to match existing d├ęcor. The addition of a ceiling fan can transform the look of a room. A professional electrician will ensure that ceiling fans are properly installed. The electrician will safely wire the ceiling fan, and make sure that it is adequately supported by the ceiling of the room. Because ceiling fans can generate substantial rotational energy, it is vital that they be properly secured.

6. Electrical Generators

The components of a home's electrical system installed by a professional electrician will be functioning safely and properly so long as they are receiving power. During emergencies, however, a supply of energy to the home cannot be guaranteed. Storms, high winds, and other natural forces can bring down power lines or otherwise interrupt the supply of electricity to a home. Electrical generators provide a vital source of electricity at these times. Residential electrical generators can also produce dangerous gases as a byproduct of the combustion that powers the generator. A professional electrician will evaluate a home's electrical needs and determine the best generator to supply backup power in the event of a power failure. The professional electrician will also ensure that the generator is properly installed, both for electrical safety and for proper ventilation of any gases produced by the generator.

The electrical upgrades above should be on the to-do list of every homeowner. A professional electrician will evaluate the home, inspecting each of the existing components of the electrical system and making recommendations regarding upgrades or the need for additional components, such as fans or a generator. The electrician will identify danger areas, where a risk of fire or electrical shock exists, and will determine the best replacements or upgrades for a given home. Further, the electrician will note areas where improvements can be made in energy efficiency, air circulation, and aesthetics.

A professional electrician has the skills required to do the job safely, and with the highest quality. The electrician is familiar with the various codes and regulations governing the home, as well as with the components and upgrades best suited to the needs of the home. All upgrades made by a professional electrical will be done with the utmost skill and in compliance with applicable codes, and with the greatest of concern for the safety and well being of the occupants of the home. Homeowners should bring in an professional electrician at the early stages of any renovation, remodeling, or upgrade process, and keep them involved every step of the way. This will ensure that when the job is complete, the home has high-quality, properly-installed electrical components that will last for many years to come.