Modern homes rely heavily on electrical systems to power every aspect of daily living, from lighting and appliances to heating, cooling and the latest smart technologies. However, aging infrastructure can pose hazards if not properly maintained through upgrades.
Whether you’re enhancing safety, maximising efficiency or future-proofing your property, this guide covers the top ten projects to consider. From optimising lighting and appliances to ensuring wiring safety and harnessing smart automation, learn how our experts evaluate needs and install certified solutions. Improve convenience while reducing costs and risks - read on to learn more.
Why Upgrade Your Electrical System?
An outdated electrical system like your old switchboards could risk accidents, power disruptions, and inefficiency in your home. With normal aging and wear and tear over time, upgrades are crucial to maintain electrical safety and optimise convenience and energy usage. Modernising key areas such as outlets, lighting, wiring, and more can safeguard your property for years.
Faulty wiring and electrical outlets are common culprits in home fires caused by power surges, shorts or overloaded circuits. Check for loose fittings, worn insulation and scorch marks, which may indicate potential hazards.
Replacing problematic outlets and installing additional ones where needed improves safety. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) near water sources like the kitchen and bathroom offer enhanced protection against shocks from ground faults.
Lighting upgrades bring numerous perks. Upgrading to LEDs around the home, including recessed cans, under-cabinet lights, and outdoor fixtures, can substantially cut costs on your electricity bill. Integrating motion sensors, dimmer switches and timed or app-controlled smart lights further boost convenience and energy savings.
From a safety standpoint, substandard or damaged electrical wiring poses fire risks and disruptions to power flow. A certified electrician can check for unsafe wiring and install additional circuits to avoid overloading.
Circuit breakers act as a safeguard to cut power in the event of short circuits or surges, but older models may fail to trip fast enough. Replacing outdated breaker boxes, especially those past 30 years, can provide enhanced protection for the whole home’s electrical system.
1. Upgrade to LED lighting
Upgrading interior and exterior lighting to LED is one of the most cost-effective electrical projects. According to the Department of Climate Change, Energy, The Environment and Water, LED lights use up to 90% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. This substantial savings in electricity costs pay back the initial investment quickly.
LED fixtures are available for all bulb shapes and types, including recessed cans, under-cabinet lamps, outdoor post lamps, sensor lights and more. Adding dimmer light switches or motion sensors boosts convenience and energy efficiency further.
Smart LED lighting bulbs connect wirelessly via the home’s wifi for lighting control from phones. LED upgrades safeguard homeowners from power surges and create an energy-efficient lighting solution.
2. Add smart home automation
Integrating smart devices enhances safety, saves money on energy bills and adds functionality. Programmable thermostats learn routines and heat or cool proactively through Wi-Fi.
Motion-sensor-activated smart lights switch on only when movement is detected, avoiding wasted power. Home security systems with cameras and alarms offer constant protection even when out. Upgrading the main electrical panel allows enough power and outlets to support these technologies reliably now and into the future.
3. Update old or damaged wiring
Old wiring installed before the 1990s, such as knob-and-tube setups, poses an electrical fire and shock risks due to cracked insulation and loose connections over time. An electrician can inspect for faulty wiring that may strain under increased power loads.
They will likely advise replacing hazardous cables with up-to-date modern non-combustible alternatives for safety, such as copper wiring. Installing additional circuits and a circuit breaker prevents overloads from damaging electronics or necessitating powerboards.
These updates are especially important before listing a home or performing home renovations to remove potential electrical hazards for your family or potential buyers.
4. Install additional power outlets
Since homes now rely heavily on technology, adding fixed outlets strategically avoids overloading existing sockets or reliance on extension cords. Locating extra outlets at desk/work areas, nightstands, and living rooms allows multiple devices to charge directly from the wall.
USB-styled outlets installed at counters or nightstands eliminate multiple charger cables too. Extra circuits also support whole-home WiFi coverage.
5. Add surge protection at the main electrical panel
Surge protectors throughout the home provide an inexpensive layer of security against power spikes, but the main panel is the ideal location to ground surges before they reach sensitive electronics. Hardwire-installed surge arrestors safeguard major appliances and furnaces, pool pumps and other appliances with integrated circuitry. This guards against lightning-caused surges that rogue protectors may miss.
6. Replace outdated circuit breakers
An electrician can assess whether breakers installed 20+ years ago trip fast enough to avoid hazards from short circuits or overloads today. Modern breakers with higher amp ratings allow flexibility too. Replacing your outdated circuit breakers protects against fires and expensive repairs if issues aren’t caught in time.
7. Install a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI)
Adding GFCI outlets near water sources like the laundry, kitchen, bathrooms and outdoor spaces protects against shocks. GFCIs detect uncontrolled currents and instantly cut power to fallen hairdryers, radios or tools kept too close to basins. This project enhances electrical safety for plumbing areas.
8. Replace aging appliances with energy-efficient models
Old refrigerators, freezers and cooling units from the 1990s or earlier waste huge amounts of power each year through degraded insulation and less efficient compressors. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates replacing an outdated fridge alone can halve its energy use.
New front-loading washing machines and dishwashers significantly reduce water heating costs too. An audit identifies upgrades offering the quickest return through lower bills. Smart thermostats and energy efficient upgrades can lower your power consumption, improving your energy costs and helping you to save money overall.
9. Update the electrical service panel or add subpanels
Homes over 30 years typically have 100-amp panels limiting the capacity for modern needs. Upgrading to a 200-amp or dual panel system with breakers offering higher amperage boosts power safety reliability and future-proofs the property for technological advancements like electric vehicle charging stations. Subpanels add further circuitry where rewiring may be impractical, allowing for top electrical upgrades to support all your appliances and other USB-powered devices.
10. Have a licensed electrician inspect for potential hazards
During an electrical inspection, your electrician will check for loose wire connections, worn insulation, inadequate clearances, faulty electronic devices, and other conditions that could lead to electrical fires or faults.
Electricians identify whether you are due for an electrical upgrade, which may include rewiring jobs and locations needing additional wall outlets or lighting. They advise if circuits can support planned additions safely or require improvements first. Taking action prevents electrical accidents and expensive repairs, even making your power bill more predictable.
Get an Expert Quote Today
Upgrade your home’s electrical system with professional assistance to optimise safety, performance, and cost savings in the long run. Our Level 2 qualified electrical experts in Sydney specialise in energy-efficient upgrades that reduce energy consumption and lower electric bills.
We offer various services, from installing new outlets and lights to adding subpanels and updating the main wiring. We also provide surge protection to safeguard your electrical devices from lightning strikes and other power surges.
By investing in electrical upgrades, you can future-proof your home’s infrastructure to accommodate new smart technologies, ensuring safe and reliable power for electronics, appliances, heating, and cooling systems. Our team will assess your current setup, identify any issues, and propose customised solutions tailored to your property needs.
Our services prioritise code compliance and safety while maximising energy efficiency to help you save on your electric bills. With optimised lighting options, power strips, and USB outlets, you’ll enjoy greater convenience, reliability, and peace of mind throughout your house.
Whether you’re looking for new installations or systematic upgrades, contact our trusted electricians in Sydney today to secure your obligation-free quote and project schedule.