You flip a light switch. The light turns out. Looks like everything is in working order! Or is it? Most of the time, when you need to upgrade your electrical panel, your electricity will still work the way you expect it to. Sometimes, the need will be a little more obvious. If your breakers are constantly tripping and all the lights go out every time you plug in the vacuum cleaner, you’ll know something’s up with your breaker box. There are many ways to tell that you’re overdue for an upgrade, but it’s the less obvious ones that often go unnoticed for too long.
How Old Is Your Home?
Homes that were built prior to the 1960’s should have their panels upgraded even if it doesn’t seem like it’s necessary. In the 1960’s, we weren’t very dependent on technology. Mostly because it didn’t exist yet. Nobody had a large TV in each room, a giant washer and dryer, a microwave, 3 game consoles, 2 computers, and 5 smart home devices. The whole family shared one TV, and most households didn’t even have a microwave.
If you haven’t had much electoral work done in the past 60 years, it’s a wonder that anything still works. At this point, any breaker boxes that haven’t been serviced since before the 1990’s should be considered dangerous. Don’t wait until something catches fire or all your appliances become bricked before you call for a professional. It’s much less expensive to get ahead of the problem.
Do You Put Your Air Conditioner to Work?
If your Arizona home was built prior to 1980, you probably have an evaporative cooling system. Swamp coolers are great under perfect conditions. They even keep moisture in the air, making them useful for people with allergies or dry sinuses. The problem is, they put that same moisture into your ducts, causing them to rust and promoting the growth of mold inside of your ceiling and walls. Quite frankly, evaporative cooling systems are terrible to combatting harsh Arizona weather. They don’t work at all when its humid outside, rendering them useless during monsoon season.
When you realized your evaporative cooling system didn’t work, you probably got a few window units for the rooms you spend the most time in. Window units work great if you are willing to hole up in those rooms where they can be effective.
The only real solution here is to get a proper HVAC system installed. And what does this have to do with your panel? Well, your panel was only ever equipped for the evaporative cooler you started with. Unlike your evaporative cooler, your AC system will work round the clock without any interruption. This is a much larger draw of power, and your old electrical panel was never equipped to handle it.
If you want to have an HVAC unit installed or you’ve recently had one installed without upgrading your breaker box, you should upgrade right now. If you haven’t experienced any problems yet, chances are, your current breaker box is hanging on by a thread. Something can go wrong at any moment, and the worst time to fix the problem is after that moment.
What Do Your Electric Bills Look Like?
Most people in Arizona will have a high electricity bill in the summer. The air conditioner is the most important thing you own for several months of the year, and it’s constantly running. Adding a new appliance or having houseguests for a week can also raise your electricity cost. But what if the bill is going up in winter and nothing else is different?
If your house seems to think you’re using up more electricity than you actually are, there are a few reasons why this can happen. The first reason is roof rats. We can’t get rid of the roof rats, but we can repair and replace your wiring if you get them under control. The second reason is your wiring is old and breaking down.
Your house may last for centuries, but the wiring will only last somewhere between 20 and 40 years. If you haven’t had your home rewired in the modern era, your wiring was installed for a home with minimal appliances and tech. It’s been overtaxed for decades longer than it was designed to last.
If you’re leaking electricity or noticing problems that point to faulty old wiring, you’ll need your whole home rewired. In addition that, you’ll also need your electrical panel upgraded to handle your new wiring. Admittedly it can be a costly fix, but it’s much less expensive than the house fire that can occur if the problem remains unchecked.
Are You Ready to Upgrade?
The experienced, certified, insured electricians at JCP Electric are just a phone call away. If you want to have your electrical panel and wiring checked to make sure they’re safe, just let us know. If you’re already certain you need an upgrade, we’re here to provide you with prompt, professional, high quality electrical service.