Electrical Systems 101: Everything Homeowners Need to Know

Some Electrical System Basics

Even if one doesn’t plan on pursuing a career in electricity, they should know some basics about their home’s electrical grid. Knowing some basics allows homeowners to avoid problems and better understand their home’s operations.

Here, homeowners can learn everything they need about their electrical system’s parts and problem signs. They can also learn about how to stay safe and avoid electrocutions.

The Many Parts of the Electrical System

electrical meterThe home’s electrical system is more than light switches and outlets. It is comprised of parts like:

  • Outlets: These are probably the most recognizable components of the electrical system. Outlets allow homeowners to plug in their phones, TVs, video game consoles––anything that requires power.
  • The electrical meter: Electrical meters measure how much electricity the home uses. It usually measures electricity in kilowatt-hours.
  • The disconnect switch: The disconnect switch limits the flow of electricity to one part of the house. It can also turn off electricity to the home when an electrician does repairs.
  • The breaker panel: This device directs power to the home’s electrical components, such as its outlets, appliances, and the air conditioning unit (if it runs on electricity).
  • Circuits: At the end of the day, most electrical systems are circuits. This means that electricity comes from a centralized power source, then travels through the home using wires and cords. Some circuits are more complicated than others, depending on a home’s energy needs.

Signs of Electrical System Problems

burning smellsElectrical system problems are not to be trifled with by homeowners. Homeowners don’t have the necessary training and tools to work on electrical issues safely. The moment someone notices any of the following signs, they should consult a professional immediately:

  • Burning smells from outlets: This could point to anything from damaged wiring to a circuit board overload. A burning smell could quickly be followed by a fire if left unaddressed.
  • Flickering lights: On a good day, flickering lights could just point to a failing lightbulb, an easy fix. In a more serious situation, the flickering could stem from exposed wires, a circuit board overload, and other related issues.
  • Sparking outlets: It’s not unusual to plug something in and see a tiny spark. However, if one notices big or frequent sparks, that points to a more serious issue.

Electrical problems like these require the immediate attention of a qualified professional. An electrician can assess the problem’s cause and render appropriate repairs. They can also catch smaller issues before they threaten the electrical system.

Electrical Safety Tips

The best electrical safety tip is to refrain from DIY repairs because unskilled DIY repairs can do more than just damage the home. They can affect one’s health and well-being. Per Healthline, electrical shocks can lead to seizures, headaches, breathing problems, and unconsciousness.

Some additional electrical safety tips include:

  • Avoid overloading circuits: This means refraining from the excessive use of extension cords and plugging high-voltage items into the same outlet.
  • Avoid running wires under rugs and mats: If a cord gets too hot, this could start an electrical fire.
  • Always keep a fire extinguisher on hand: Homeowners never know when an electrical fire could start – and if it does, they cannot pour water on it. Keeping a fire extinguisher on hand is insurance if an electrical fire breaks out.

About Trustworthy Electric

Trustworthy Electric has over 25 years of experience serving its neighbors in Montgomery, AL, and the surrounding areas. They provide upfront pricing, financing, customer education, and military discounts. Call them today for electrical services in Montgomery, AL.

Answers to Popular Sustainable Energy FAQs From Homeowners

Go “Green” for St. Patrick’s Day with Renewable Energy Sources

Homeowners should forget about wearing the color green this St. Patrick’s Day and instead focus on giving their home’s electrical system a “green” energy makeover. Not only does switching to “green” energy sources help to save the Earth from the effects of climate change, but it also helps to save the homeowner money on utility bills. Keep reading to learn more about how integrating sustainable energy sources at home can save homeowners money! 

The Different Types of Green Energy

green energyThere are a few different types of sustainable energy that can be found in modern homes. 

Solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass are the most popular forms of renewable energy. Solar energy uses solar panels to convert energy from the sun into electricity. This is probably the most popular and accessible form of “green” energy. 

Wind power uses the motion of a turbine to create power. As the wind blows the turbine's blades in a circular motion, it triggers a reaction in a connected electrical generator to create kinetic energy. Hydroelectric systems also use a turbine to generate electricity through kinetic energy by using moving water instead of wind. 

Geothermal heat transfer systems take the heat from the Earth and transform it into energy for the home. Biomass is a type of fuel produced out of sustainable resources such as scraps from construction sites and animal manure. 


Reasons to Switch to Green Energy

It is surprisingly easy and affordable to switch to renewable energy! Homeowners who are holding back on integrating renewable energy solutions into their homes because they believe it is too expensive will be interested to hear that there are government incentives that can make switching to green energy super affordable! Government rebate programs reimburse homeowners for the price of installing solar panels or wind turbines.  

Homeowners can feel good about switching to renewable energy and lessening their home’s environmental impact. Everyone should do their part to try to be kind to the environment. Switching to green energy can also significantly reduce utility bills for homeowners! 


Which Renewable Energy Source Is the Best?

The two most popular types of renewable energy are solar power and wind power. For most people, solar power is going to be the best option because of affordability and accessibility. It is easy to install solar panels almost anywhere! They are often installed on top of the roof of the house. With government rebate programs, installing solar panels is super affordable. 

Using wind power is a little more complicated than solar energy because of the space it takes to operate a wind turbine successfully. Not only is space a factor, but also the wind is a less predictable resource than the sun. Overall, solar power is the number one pick for homeowners looking to give their home’s electrical system a “green” makeover. 

About Trustworthy Electric Inc. 

Trustworthy Electric Inc. is a team of friendly faces that homeowners can depend on for all of their home electrical needs. They offer fair pricing on affordable electrical services from experienced local electricians. Call them today to schedule a same-day appointment with a professional electrical contractor in Montgomery, AL!