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Understand Your Home’s Electrical System

Electricity is an essential part of life, powering televisions, heating and cooling systems, and many other modern-day conveniences. Understanding the basics of your home’s electrical system helps you keep it well maintained and ensure the safety of your family.

What components make up your home’s electrical system?

Electrical systems consist of several components, which include the following:

  • The electric meter – Electricity comes into your home through the meter mounted outdoors. It records the amount of electricity you use in your home.
  • The main breaker panel – This is the central electricity distribution point. It directs power to your home as many separate circuits, each flowing from a circuit breaker. It’s equipped with a breaker that flips off if an overload occurs to help avoid fire or electrocution.
  • Circuits – These are complete paths over which electric current flows. They consist of electrical wires that begin from and return to the electrical source. They deliver power to outlets, appliances, and light fixtures. Standard circuits to outlets are usually 110 volts whereas those to larger plug-in and hard-wired appliances are 220 volts.

Important things to consider when installing a new electrical system

You may need to make changes to the current system after purchasing a new home or during remodeling. You should be actively involved in the designing of the system. Use the tips below.

  • When adding wires for a new circuit or replacing those in an existing circuit, make sure the wire type and size are correct. Wires that are too small for the circuit’s amperage rating may get dangerously hot.
  • Consider integrating the monitoring and automation of energy use during the system design process. They will help you see your energy consumption and automate several parts of your system for maximum energy efficiency, safety, and comfort.
  • As you do any electrical work, always turn off power to the device or circuit. You’ll still need to test the circuit to confirm that the power is off.

Only work with a local licensed electrician. For more information on your home’s electrical system, contact Beyer Boys. We serve the San Antonio area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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