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Why Do Older Homes Need Electrical Upgrades?

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7 Reasons to Consider Electrical Upgrades for Your Home


If you live in an older home, you know it has charm and character that can’t be replicated. As much as you love your home, however, you may find that it’s not meeting your modern electrical and safety needs.


Perhaps you’re tired of constantly tripping breakers, or you’re concerned about the safety of your electrical system. It may be time to consider electrical upgrades to create a more modern and protected home.


Read on to learn more about electrical upgrades and the benefits they provide.


What Constitutes an Older Home?

Before diving into why older homes need electrical upgrades, we should define what we mean by an “older home.” Typically, an older home is defined as one built before 1975.


Homes built before this period may have outdated electrical systems not equipped to handle modern electrical needs. If you’re living in a house at least 50 years old, it’s important to consider upgrading your electrical system to make sure your home is safe and meets your current and future electrical needs.


Why Do Older Homes Need Electrical Upgrades?

If you’re living in an older home, you may be wondering why you need to upgrade your electrical system and if the benefits justify the cost of hiring an electrical contractor. These are the six main reasons why older homes may require electrical upgrades:

  1. Safety

Safety is one of the most important reasons to upgrade your electrical system. Older homes may have outdated electrical systems that pose a significant safety risk.


For example, older homes may have two-pronged outlets that are not grounded, which can cause electrical shocks. Additionally, older homes may have outdated wiring that can lead to electrical fires. Upgrading your electrical system can help ensure your home is safe for you and your family.

  1. Outdated Electrical Panels

Some service panels are no longer safe to have in your home. While these electrical panels were standard at the time of their installation, our understanding of electrical safety has grown.


For example, Federal Pacific Electric Panels, Zinsco panels, Challenger panels made by Challenger Electrical Equipment Corp or Eaton/Cutler-Hammer, and Pushmatic panels are considered outdated or involved in an electrical panel recall.


Certain types of electrical panels are no longer insurable because insurance companies have experienced many claims related to electrical fires in homes using these boxes. If your home has one of these panels or you’re not sure whether your service panel is safe, consult with a licensed Gilroy, CA, electrician.

  1. Increased Power Demand

Another reason why older homes may need electrical upgrades is that they may not have enough power to support modern electrical needs. Federal programs like the Inflation Reduction Act incentivize homeowners to upgrade to electric appliances. However, enjoying an electric range or an electric vehicle charging station is difficult if your home’s electrical system can’t handle the increased demands.


Many older homes were built before the widespread use of air conditioning, computers, and other high-power devices we enjoy today. Upgrading your electrical system can provide more power to your home and allow you to prepare for potential future needs.

  1. Protection from Surges

Electrical surges can damage your appliances and electronics. Upgrading your electrical system can protect you from surges, which means your appliances and electronics last longer and work better.


Two types of surge protectors exist: whole-house surge protectors and point-of-use surge protectors. Whole-house surge protectors are installed at the main electrical panel to protect the entire home. In contrast, point-of-use surge protectors are installed at individual outlets to protect specific devices.

  1. Convenience

Electrical upgrades can provide convenience by adding more outlets and switches, which can be especially important if you’re living in an older home that doesn’t have enough outlets or access to power.


What’s more, you can install smart home devices, making your life more convenient and efficient. With well-placed smart switches, lights, and security systems, older homes can instantly feel more modern.

  1. Energy Efficiency

Upgrading your electrical system can make your home more energy-efficient, which can reduce your energy bills and make your home more environmentally friendly.


Here are just some of the ways to make your home more energy-efficient:

  • Installing LED light bulbs: LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs and can last up to 25 times longer.

  • Installing a programmable thermostat: A programmable thermostat can help you save energy by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature when you’re not at home.

  • Upgrading to energy-efficient appliances: Newer appliances are often more energy-efficient than older ones and can save you money on your energy bills.

  • Adding insulation: Adding insulation to your home can keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer, which can reduce your energy bills.

  1. Home Value

Upgrading your electrical system can increase the value of your home, which is especially important if you’re planning to sell your home in the future. Some of the most impactful returns on your investment include the following electrical upgrades:

  • Upgrading to a 200-amp service: Upgrading to a 200-amp service can provide more power to your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

  • Installing GFCI outlets: GFCI outlets are required by code in bathrooms and kitchens because they protect against electrical shock. Installing GFCI outlets can increase the safety of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.

  • Adding additional outlets and switches: Adding additional outlets and switches can make your home more convenient and appealing to potential buyers.

  • Installing a whole-house surge protector: A whole-house surge protector can protect your home’s appliances and electronics from power surges, making your home more attractive to potential buyers.


Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric: Your Path to a Modern Home

If you’re living in an older home in Santa Clara County, it’s important to consider upgrading your electrical system to make it a safer and more convenient place to live. While there may be some simple electrical upgrades you can make yourself, consulting with a licensed electrician is crucial.


The team at Watson’s Charging Stations & Electric has been helping homeowners in Gilroy, CA, and the Santa Clara Valley make electrical upgrades for years. We can inspect your property’s electric system and discuss where your home can benefit the most. Give us a call to schedule your free consultation.