Most people think updating their home requires major construction — and a major expense. What if, instead, you could provide significant updates that make your home safer and more functional with a minimum of cost and time?

These six simple electrical upgrades can make an incredible difference in your home. As your Greenville Electrician, we can deliver these significant upgrades quickly and inexpensively — and they’ll make your life better and your home safer.

1. Smoke Detectors

Did you know that smoke detectors have a shelf life? That’s right — Your smoke detectors can age out without you realizing it. Your smoke detectors are suitable for about 10 years after their date of manufacture.

Are you now wondering just when you installed those smoke detectors? There’s an easy way to find out. The date of manufacture is printed on the back of each alarm. (Don’t forget to put them back on the ceiling after you’ve checked.)

If your smoke detectors have outlived their useful life, you need to upgrade to new ones. You may even need to do so if your smoke detectors are less than 10 years old. Try testing them by pushing the button to see if they make a sound. If they don’t, it’s time to replace them.

When you’re ready for your upgrade, consider replacing your battery-powered smoke detectors with hardwired ones. At Upstate Electrical Solutions, we can take care of this easily or even replace your existing hardwired smoke alarms if you don’t want to trust your own DIY skills with something so important.

Hardwired smoke detectors also need to be replaced every 10 years, by the way. The advantage of hardwired smoke detectors is that you know they always have the electrical power they need to alert you in the event of a fire — and you don’t have to deal with that chirping at 2 a.m. telling you it’s time to change your smoke detector batteries.

2. Whole House Surge Protection

Do you have surge protectors plugged in all-around your house? Of course, you want to protect your computers, your flat-screen TVs, your modem, your phones, your DVRs, and your charging stations from unwanted power surges that could wipe out their functionality and memory. Maybe you even have surge protectors protecting your fridge, your coffeemaker, your dishwasher, and your air conditioning system.

There’s an easier way to provide the protection you need without having all those ugly cables strewn around your home. It’s time to think about whole house surge protection.

A whole-house surge protector is just what it sounds like — protection against spikes in electrical voltage that covers your entire home at once. 

The top whole house surge protectors shield your home from massive surges of up to 40,000 amps. At Upstate Electrical Solutions, we believe in installing this protection between your electric meter and your circuit breaker box. This significant upgrade can be done in less than a day and for less than the cost of replacing any one or two of your expensive electronics components if they were fried by an electrical spike.

3. Arc Fault GFCI Protection

Imagine being at work or out with friends and getting a text from your neighbor: Your house is on fire. Electrical failures are the second-leading cause of home fires in the United States, causing thousands of deaths and up to $12 billion in property damage every year. (Because we know you’re asking: unattended cooking and heaters are the no. 1 cause.)

In many cases, these electrical fire disasters are caused in older homes that don’t have up-to-date electrical systems. If your home is at least 20 years old, it’s time to look into adding ground fault circuit interrupters, known as GFCI, to your electrical system. GFCIs are modern circuit breakers that shut off electrical power in as fast as 1/40th of a second to keep electricity from jumping outside your wiring and into the structure of your home.

The number of residential fires could be cut in half if every home installed AFCIs. Installing arc fault protection is simple and quick, and frankly, it’s a no-brainer. When you call us as your Greenville electrical contractor to install arc fault protection, you take a step that protects your family and your home from a devastating fire.

4. Video Camera Doorbells

In the not-so-distant past, establishing a home security system was a big deal that could involve dozens of cameras and an expensive contract with an alarm monitoring company. Now, thanks mainly to the revolutionary Ring line of doorbells, you can keep your home secure — even when you’re away at work or on vacation.

Ring video doorbells provide video security right at your front door, with an excellent field of view. Some models even include a view of the floor of your front porch, so you can verify when packages are left there. The doorbells take high-quality video and provide you with instant notifications of any activity. They even let you converse with someone on your front porch when you’re away from home, connecting through your smartphone.

The best Ring doorbell models — the ones that provide the most features — have to be hardwired to your home’s electrical system. That’s where we come in. Call us at Upstate Electrical Solutions today when you’re ready to add a layer of simple yet effective security to your home’s entry.

5. Dimmers

Being able to control your home’s mood through the touch of a dimmer switch feels luxurious and very modern. Would you be surprised to learn that installing dimmer switches is one of the simplest upgrades you can make to your home’s electrical system?

With dimmer switches installed throughout your home, you can change from practical task lighting to relaxing mood lighting with the touch of a button. You can draw attention to parts of the room to add an air of intimacy or calm. You can dim the lights to watch your favorite TV show or movie without having to sit in total blackness. You can also enhance your home’s safety by using dimmers to add ultra low light in bathrooms and hallways to light the way in the middle of the night.

As your Greenville electrician, we can make these subtle changes that help your home feel so much more welcoming and comfortable while also cutting down on your electricity bills. Talk to us about exactly where dimmer switches would make a difference in your home.

6. LED Bulbs

One of the smartest and easiest upgrades you can make to your electrical system is to replace your traditional light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED light bulbs last much longer than old-school bulbs, so you end up replacing them less often. They also deliver brighter light while putting out less heat — which means you can expect your electricity bills to go down when you make the change.

Many LED bulbs are also smart bulbs — that means you can turn them on and off with your smartphone. With LED bulbs, you don’t have to worry that you got held late at work and you’ll be returning to a dark house, because you can control your bulbs remotely. In addition, because LED bulbs use about 17% the energy of traditional bulbs, the environment benefits as much as your utility bills.

At Upstate Electrical Solutions, we’re your Greenville electrical contractor for jobs big and small. When you’re ready to make any of these simple electrical upgrades, just give us a call at 864.834.9955 to get started.