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Should I Upgrade My Electrical Panel?

Posted on: October 4, 2013

It seems like every day some fantastic new “must-have” electronic device comes out. Is your home equipped to handle them all? Energy use in homes these days averages around 14,000 kWh (that’s kilowatt-hours) per year—up an astounding 636 percent since the 1950s and still growing! If you live in an older home in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, your electrical system may not be able to handle the increase in energy requirements. That’s why you might need a heavy up!

Service panel upgrades, also called “heavy ups,” will enhance your electrical panel’s capacity and make it safer to operate the variety of electronic devices you may have in your home.

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Benefits of Heavy Ups

Getting an electrical panel upgrade will provide you with a number of impressive benefits to improve your home’s electrical service all around, including:

Better Electrical Performance – do your lights flicker when you turn on certain appliances? Does your breaker trip frequently for no apparent reason? A heavy up will take care of these problems, providing a more consistent energy supply throughout your home.

Improved Electrical System Safety – while most new electrical panels are designed with safety in mind, the same can’t always be said for panels built 30 years ago. Overloading the electrical panel can lead to major fire hazards, many of which could cost you your home. An electrical panel upgrade can resolve these dangerous issues and improve the safety of your home.

Future Expansion — if you ever need to add circuits to your home, you’ll need a larger service panel. A heavy up gives you options, whether you need to really expand your electrical system (say by adding a new addition or central air conditioner) or you just need to add a few more outlets.

Heavy Up FAQs

What does a heavy up entail?

Depending on your specific goals, you have a range of upgrades available for a heavy up. Some service upgrades are as simple as adding a few additional circuit breakers to the existing box, or expanding the box with a subpanel. More complex upgrades may include things like replacing a fuse box or an aging panel with one that allows for higher energy capacity. A Kolb Electrician can evaluate the condition of your current panel with any problems you are experiencing to determine how extensive your upgrades will be.

How long does an electrical panel upgrade take?

The time depends on the job. Adding additional breakers to an existing panel is usually pretty quick, often taking less than an hour. Installing a subpanel is not too complicated either, often taking no more than a few hours.

Where it starts to take a long time is when you need to make serious upgrades. If you need to replace a fuse box or circuit main, you could be looking at a job that takes all day.

Schedule Your Electrical Panel Upgrade in MD, VA, or DC?

Still asking yourself “Should I upgrade my electrical panel?” Let us help you decide! Already know you need a heavy up? Don’t let your favorite electronics put your home at risk—for electrical panel upgrades in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC, call Kolb Electric at 877-385-0818 today!

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