Working from home is a trend that doesn’t appear to be waning. Productive office space is vital if you’re one of the millions of Americans working from home, either full-time or part-time. This goes beyond having the right desk, computer, and printer – it also includes ensuring your home’s electrical system can handle the increased electrical demand.
Home Office Electrical Upgrades You Should Consider
When designing a home office, it’s essential to address your home’s electrical safety. The additional electrical demands created by working at home will likely require some attention. Depending on the type of work you do, you may need to consider the following electrical upgrades:
1. A Dedicated Computer Circuit
Most home offices have numerous electrical devices. Unfortunately, in many older homes, all of the outlets in a room may be on a single circuit. If your home has outdated wiring, it may not be equipped to handle the additional demands of numerous high tech devices, including computers, laptops, printers, and modems.
When circuits are overloaded, your breakers will trip, sensitive electronic devices may be damaged, and important data can be lost. This can be prevented by having an electrician install a dedicated computer circuit for your home office. A dedicated circuit will power your computer and nothing else, so you don’t have to worry about overloaded circuits or tripped breakers while working.
2. Surge Protectors and Backup Power Supply
Thunderstorms, high winds, lightning strikes, and other problems can cause downed power lines and power outages. The best way to protect expensive electronic devices and prevent data loss is by installing a whole-house surge protector. You may also want to consider having a backup power supply installed if you live in an area that experiences prolonged power outages on a regular basis.
3. Upgraded Electrical Wiring and Additional Outlets
Most home offices are located in a bedroom, den, or closet that may not have enough electrical outlets to meet your needs. Computers, monitors, printers, and other electrical devices require a dedicated power supply. Overloading an outlet and relying on extension cords or power strips is never a good idea. Hiring an electrician to add additional outlets or to upgrade the electrical wiring for your home office will protect your devices and ensure that circuits are not overloaded.
4. A Hardwired Internet Connection
Wi-Fi speed has improved recently, but it still isn’t as consistent or reliable as a hardwired internet connection. For many remote workers, uninterrupted, high-speed internet access is a necessity. A hardwired internet connection is more secure and faster than Wi-Fi and provides better bandwidth for video conferencing.
5. An Electrical Panel Upgrade
Newer homes can handle modern electrical demands and usually have a 200-amp service panel. This isn’t the case for older homes where outdated wiring and circuits can easily be overloaded. Consider upgrading your electrical service panel if you have an older home with a fuse box or a 100-amp service panel. An experienced electrician can assess your current electrical panel and determine if an upgrade is necessary.
6. Lighting Upgrades
Lighting your home office may not be your top priority, but proper lighting is essential. Enough light is necessary for reducing eye strain and creating an inviting workspace. An electrician can help you determine what lighting is best for your home office. Lighting upgrades that replace existing incandescent light bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs can offer considerable savings over time. LED lighting can also be adjusted for intensity and color to provide the best lighting for video conference calls and Zoom meetings.
Signs Your Home Needs Immediate Electrical Work
There are several warning signs that your electrical system is not working correctly. Call a licensed electrician immediately if you’re experiencing any of the following issues:
Warm or sparking outlets or switches could indicate a bad connection or an outlet or switch that needs to be replaced. Never use a warm or sparking outlet until it has been repaired.
Flickering lights are often the result of a power surge but can also be a sign of a loose connection or an overloaded circuit. If replacing the lightbulb doesn’t solve the problem, further investigation is needed.
Buzzing noises should never come from your outlets or switches. If you hear any buzzing, cracking, or sizzling sounds when you use a switch or outlet, turn off the power to the fixture and call an electrician for immediate repair.
Call a Local Trusted Electrician
Working from home can present several challenges. Depending on the type of work you do, your home office setup could include numerous electrical devices, including computers, monitors, printers, scanners, USB receptacles, and additional lighting. Working with an experienced electrician is the best way to ensure your home office is safe and meets your electrical demands now and in the future.
When you need electrical work for your home or business, call on Pallardy Electric. We’ve been serving St. Charles and St. Louis counties since 2001. We’re licensed, bonded, and insured for your safety and protection. Call us at (636) 202-1794 to schedule a free estimate.