• Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

    Upgrading Your Electrical Panel

    If you own an older home or buying a fixer-upper upgrading your electrical panel should be at the top of your list of repairs.  If you are unfamiliar with what the electrical panel does, beyond making the lights work.  Your electrical panel is the control system for all of the electricity in your home.  You can turn off the entire power to your home there or turn it off to specific rooms.  The panel is made up of breakers or fuses that can trip if you have too much electricity or not enough.  The panel is measured in amps and most homes use sixty amps or higher.

    Why Upgrade?

    You may be wondering if you should even bother to upgrade since everything works, but there are plenty of reasons why.  The average home has more appliances and electronic devices than ever and they all need to be charged or plugged in, which means an increased demand on your old electrical panel.  Replacing your panel is definitely not a DIY weekend project you can do yourself.  Electricity is not something that you mess around with, you need an electrician to make sure that everything is safe and up to your local building codes.

    Safety is a Factor

    One of the most important reasons to consider upgrading is because of the safety of you and your family.  In fact, your homeowner’s insurance may even require you to upgrade to continue getting coverage.  If you have constant issues like fuses blowing or the lights flicker when you use the microwave then you need an upgrade, the problem will only get worse and you increase the possibility of an electrical fire.  For those that have bought homes, they are planning to renovate then if you do anything that increases the square footage, such as finishing the basement it will also increase the load your electrical panel has to handle. Selling your home in today’s market means that it needs to be up to code, with an up-to-date electrical system.

    What to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel To

    Most homes today have at least 100amps but it can go to 150, 200, or even 400amps.  You can talk with your electrician to decide what is best for your home.  You can have an energy audit done or take a look at your current bills to see what amounts of electricity you are using.  In addition to your electrical panel,

    you may need to upgrade your wiring at the same time.  Costs can depend on the extent of the work, start by talking to a couple of different electricians and get a price quote before you decide.

  • Installing Your Charging Station

    Installing Your Charging Station

    EVs or electrical vehicles have become more popular than ever as fuel costs rise and concerns for the environment grow as well.  With having an electric vehicle you’re going to need to have a place to charge it regularly. You need to bring in an electrician because installing your charging station is not a DIY project and there are a couple of other factors to take into consideration.  Let’s look at what makes the perfect EV charging station and the considerations you need to think about.

    Your Electrical Panel

    If you live in a newer home then your electrical panel shouldn’t be a problem.  If you live in an older home or your electrical panel hasn’t been updated in 20 years or longer you may need to upgrade to accommodate your EV station.  You need a bit more power than your standard plug, something that is at least 240V and 40 amps to charge in a decent amount of time.  Talk with an electrician that is familiar with EV stations and their installation, they will let you know if upgrades are necessary.

    Where Will You Put the Charging Station?

    Ideally, you want to put your charging station as close to your electrical panel as possible.  The electrician has to run power via a conduit from the panel to your charging station and the closer the better.  If you have a garage to put your charging station in, fantastic, if you need to put it outside then make sure you get a charging station that is weatherproof.

    What Will it Cost You?

    It will cost you for the charging station and it will also cost you to have an electrician install it for you, but weigh that against never having to pay for gas again and the cost isn’t really that bad.  There are a ton of different charging stations on the market and they can run anywhere from $500 – $1,000 plus installation.  However, not all chargers are created the same.  If you have bought a Tesla then you will need one of their charging stations.  Other brands of EVs give you more options, that being said you want a unit that has passed all safety tests and comes with a warranty.  You may also want to look for something with an Energy Star rating.  Most charging stations also come with other features like reminders and scheduled charging times.

    EVs are the future and it won’t be long before most homes are built with charging stations on the property, until then find yourself a good local electrician who can install one for you.