Homeownership can be a great adventure and can be very rewarding. Unfortunately it can also have some downsides. When renting, a landlord or manager usually takes care of all the maintenance that needs to happen but when you own a home that responsibility relies on you.
One of the biggest electrical aspects of your home is your electrical panel. The electrical panel is like Grand Central Station for your home’s electrical. When buying new or upgrading, you need to have all the facts in order to make an informed decision.
Your electrical panel, or main breaker box, connects all the wires from outside to the inside wires of your home. This is how you receive power from your service provider. When the power goes out in your home, you come here to flip the breakers to try to get it to come back on again.
Most days you don’t really think about your electrical panel. The only time it may come into your mind is when the power goes out but it should be thought about more often before it’s too late.
If you haven’t taken a look at your electrical panel in a while, it might be a good time to check up on it. It may be time to consider an upgrade. There are various circumstances for which an upgrade might be necessary.
Avoiding Fire Hazards
Older panels were not designed to handles today’s electrical usage. If you overload your panel you may be risking a fire in your home. If your home is more than 20 years old, there’s a chance you might need an upgrade.
Increase Electric Usage
Adding appliances to your home can be an exciting time. A new refrigerator or giant flat screen TV can bring you great joy, but it can also put a lot of strain on your electrical panel. Always be sure that you have enough room in your panel to handle all your new appliances.
Raise Property Value
Like with any major upgrade to your home, a new panel upgrade will raise the value on your home. Solar panels and electric car chargers require a larger panel – these also raise the value on your property.
End of Life
An average lifespan of a panel is from 25 – 40 years depending on use and type of panel. If the panel in your home is nearing the end of the lifespan it might be time to get it checked out to see if your need an upgrade.
Damaged / Dangerous
Older panels have outdated technology and can be very problematic and dangerous. Certain types of panels should definitely be upgraded, such as Zinsco, because they have become obsolete.