Electricity is life. From lighting our homes to entertaining us to cooking our food and heating our water, electricity powers nearly every aspect of our lives. That use, however, comes with a hefty price tag that even keeps increasing as time goes by.
The good news is that you can keep your costs down if you adopt a proactive attitude towards your electricity use. And when it comes to improving your electrical efficiency, you’ll want to begin with your electrical panel.
If you think you’ve been paying for more electricity than you should, below are five signs that the culprit could be your electrical panel in need of an upgrade. Read on.
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1. Your Home’s Age
This is one of the most obvious signs you should take note of. If your home is more than 40 years old – and even if you’re not seeing any other issues at present – it’s probably time for an electrical panel upgrade.
A lot has changed in the last few decades, and your electrical system needs to be able to handle the increased demand.
2. High Power Bill
If you’re noticing that your home’s electricity bills are creeping up, and there doesn’t seem to be any other reason or factor involved, it might be time to update your home’s electrical panel.
An outdated electrical system is not as efficient as a new one and will use more electricity, resulting in higher energy bills. Again, you don’t have to wait for problems to be apparent. Instead, ask an electrician for advice.
3. Frequent Power Outages
Another sign of an outdated electrical panel is when you’re having frequent power outages. For example, when your circuit breaker keeps tripping off when you haven’t added any new appliances, your panel could be the problem.
Much like any other device out there, an old electrical panel can malfunction by virtue of its sheer age, so don’t stall and get an upgrade the soonest you can.
4. Flickering or Dimming Lights
If the problem is actually your electrical panel, the direct causes of those flickering or dimming lights would include power surges, faulty wiring, and – brace yourself – fire.
Then again, since there could be other problems involved, you’ll want to call in a licensed residential electrician for an inspection.
5. Old or Worn Out Electrical Wiring
This one is probably the easiest to spot. If you see that your wires are worn out, it must, indeed, be time for an upgrade.
This electrical safety problem will probably come with age, but there could be other factors as well, such as the use of substandard wiring, perhaps from a recent repair job.
Ready to Upgrade Your Electrical Panel?
We may not even have to ask this question if all of the above is true for your electrical panel. Even if it’s just one or two of the five signs mentioned, that’s still reason enough to have a professional come by and take a look.
When it comes to electricity, there’s no really no taking chances.
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