The electrical panel is simultaneously the most important and least thought-thought-about component of your home’s electrical system. It’s the primary source of power and the main point of distribution for all circuits in your home. But since most Boston homes have electrical panels tucked away in basements, garages, utility closets, or other out-of-sight places, it’s easy to forget about this vital piece of equipment. Here, we’ll take a look at some crucial reasons homeowners should consider a panel upgrade for their homes.
Why is an electrical panel important?
Before we dive into the specific advantages that come with bringing these electrical components up-to-date, let’s explore the role electrical panels play in your home’s overall electrical system. Also known as circuit breakers, electrical panels are responsible for receiving power from the grid and dividing it into various branch circuits within your home which are usually divided by room. From the circuit breaker, you can control the supply of electricity for each circuit and your home overall.
5 crucial reasons to get a panel upgrade.
1. You need to replace an outdated panel.
As long as your home’s electricity keeps working, it’s easy to assume your electrical panel is still in good shape. In reality, panels need to get replaced well before they stop working altogether. In general, electrical panels last for 20 to 30 years but there are many things that can shorten their lifespan over time including:
- Humid weather
- Dust and debris
- Demand exceeding capacity
- DIY servicing
If you’re uncertain about your electrical panel’s age or condition, it’s advisable to hire a licensed electrical professional to provide a thorough assessment. This way, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your panel is outdated or not.
2. It can protect your family and home.
Relying on outdated, damaged, and ill-equipped electrical panels to handle your home’s electricity can lead to dangerous malfunctioning. It only takes one spark to cause a house fire which, needless to say, would pose a major risk to your loved ones and your property. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, electrical malfunctions are the fourth leading cause of residential house fires in the country accounting for nearly 7% of all incidents. Updating electrical panels can help reduce your home’s fire risk by addressing the potential causes before they have disastrous consequences.
3. You need to match an increased electrical demand.
Another common reason for upgrading your home’s electrical panel is a change in energy demand. Each panel is designed to handle a specific amount of electricity and anything that gets too close or exceeds this capacity can lead to routine malfunctions and even potentially hazardous accidents like house fires. Boston homeowners who plan on installing an HVAC system or other high-energy appliances should consult with a professional to ensure their electrical panel can handle the energy requirements.
4. You live in an older home.
It’s not uncommon for Bostonians to live in older homes. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders reports that Massachussettes has the second-oldest homes on average just behind New York when compared with the rest of the country. In other words, around 50% of homeowners live in houses built prior to 1962. Many of these older builds are outfitted with 100-amp electrical panels. In contrast, modern homes are powered with 200 to 300-amp panels depending on their size. The age of your home might mean that your panel simply isn’t capable of handling modern energy consumption.
5. It’s worth the investment.
It’s never a good idea to push off necessary home repairs because of the costs involved – panel upgrades are no exception. Not only does this delay put your family and property at greater risk, but it could also end up costing you more money in the long run. An electrical fire can result in significant costs, not to mention the irreparable damage done to priceless items. You might also face home insurance non-payouts for avoiding these essential upgrades. When considering everything together, paying for a panel upgrade is a no-brainer.
Pro tip: If you’re really keen on saving money, upgrading your panel when other renovations or services are being done can help offset the overall cost.
Bring in the Boston experts for your electrical panel upgrade
If you want to determine whether your electrical panel is in need of replacement, the experts at Boston Standard Plumbing can help. Our team of experienced electricians can provide a wide variety of electrical services, including panel upgrades to ensure your home’s system is up-to-date.