As working from home continues to be the norm, more and more homeowners are starting to learn about their home’s power supply. Fast internet speeds are making a remote workforce possible for many companies across a variety of industries, and workers are preferring the change. With the new change, having a proper home office makes the transition more comfortable for remote workers. A big question the new work from home group is asking – does my home wiring support my needs? A look at newer homes versus older homes can shed some light on this question.
Residential Wiring in Newer Homes
Newer homes, in general, are best suited for easy adaption to a modern home office because of the way they’re wired. Most people who need to upgrade their home’s wiring have enough amperage (overall current) running into their home, and if anything, just need more outlets and better lighting. Adding new outlets and lighting are typically simple modifications you can hire an electrician to do for a reasonable price.
Homes built within the last few decades often have a 200-amp service specified by the electric code. That’s plenty of power for normal use unless you have a woodshop with heavy-duty tools that are drawing a lot of power.
Residential Wiring in Older Homes
Older homes present a host of challenges when it comes to upgrading for a modern home office. Often there will have been prior modifications not properly done to code. There can be older electric systems such as knob and tube. Older homes need to be properly inspected by an electrician to determine their capabilities.
Another issue with older homes is grounding. Many older homes have wiring that is not properly grounded. When you open up a switch or outlet, you may see only two wires – a white and a black. Without a proper ground wire, you have a dangerous outlet.
There are a number of other factors to consider. Is the existing panel capable of handling any upgrades if you want to add a circuit or two? What is the wire gauge? Different circuits require different gauges of wire, and each breaker, outlet, and switch on a circuit must match the gauge of the wire.
Most of the time, with an older home, you’ll want to scrap all of the old and outdated systems and retool it for modern living. The risks are not worth the minimal cost to get the work done properly and to code by a professional.
Ready to Update Your Home’s Electrical System?
Updating your home’s electrical system is key to getting the most out of your home office in an efficient and safe way. If you have an older home and have not had an electrical inspection, scheduling an inspection is the first step to see what you’re dealing with. Once you know what you have, you can make a plan that makes sense for your needs.