Your electrical panel controls the flow of electricity throughout your home, connecting to every light switch and outlet. It’s a vital piece of equipment that plays a critical role in keeping your home functional and safe, but like all electrical components, it will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. A panel upgrade will increase your home’s power capacity, reduce energy bills and keep your family safe from the dangers of overheating or power surges.
Here are five signs that your electrical panel needs to be upgraded:
1. Your breakers trip frequently.
Frequent breaker trips are a clear sign that your home’s electric system is overburdened. A new service panel will provide more circuits with a higher amperage capacity to evenly distribute the load. This will stop your breakers from constantly tripping and eliminate the need for extension cords, which are a fire hazard.
2. Your lights dim when you turn on certain appliances.
If your house is older and has fuses rather than circuit breakers, it’s time to invest in an electrical panel upgrade. Fuse boxes are outdated and lack the safety features of modern circuit breakers, which help to protect your home from damage and fire. A new panel will also ensure that your home has enough power to support new and updated electronics.
3. You’re planning a major renovation or adding new rooms to your home.
Whether you’re building an addition or installing a brand-new refrigerator, stove or air conditioner, it’s crucial to have an upgraded electrical panel to handle the increased electrical load. A new panel will add more circuits with a higher amperage rating to accommodate your new appliances and prevent overloading, which can lead to breakers tripping and other issues.
4. You’re using a lot of extension cords.
Leaving extension cords strewn across the floor of your home is a recipe for disaster, as they can get shorted, kinked or pinched. This not only creates a serious tripping hazard, but it’s a major fire hazard. An upgraded electrical panel will provide you with more outlets, allowing you to use less extension cords and avoid the dangers of overheating, tripping breakers and fire.
5. Your electrical panel is over 40 years old.
The average electrical panel lasts between 25 and 40 years before it starts to wear out. If yours is over 40 years old, it’s likely that it has outlived its lifespan and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Upgrading your electrical panel can make a significant difference in the safety and efficiency of your home, and it can increase its resale value. If you’re considering selling your home, then a panel upgrade will be an investment that pays for itself over the long-term. If you’re interested in upgrading your electrical panels, contact a local electrician for more information. They can inspect your current system and recommend the best solutions for your unique home.