Understanding Your Home’s Electrical System

Understanding Your Home's Electrical SystemEven though it doesn’t get a lot of discussion, the electrical system in a home ranks near the top as an important component. Without it life wouldn’t be as we know it. Besides modern conveniences, a home’s wiring dictates how safe and comfortable it is.

How It Gets There

Power comes into your home from a thick wire that connects to a meter and into a breaker box that has individual circuits. Each circuit can handle a specific amount of electricity flowing through it at one time, and each of these has its own breaker. When the power flow exceeds the circuit’s capacity, the breaker heats up and snaps shut, which shuts the power off.

Major Appliances

If you have an electric stove, dryer, or water heater, it’s likely each of these has its own circuit, since they draw a lot of electricity. Your central HVAC system also has its own circuit.

What to Know

If your home was built in the 1960s through the mid-1970s, there’s a chance it has an aluminum electrical system, which is a known fire hazard. You can check by looking at a switch or outlet. If you see copper wiring, it’s likely you don’t have aluminum wiring. If you find silver wiring, you should contact a licensed electrician who can assess its condition.

More Precautions

Check over your home to see where the GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) is. It stops the flow of electricity when anything electric contacts water. Sometimes these switches are in bathrooms or kitchens. They have a button to reset the circuits should the GFCI turn the power off outlets.

More recent building codes require AFCIs (arc fault circuit interrupters). Pounding a nail or inserting a screw into a hidden wire causes electricity to arc, which can raise the temperature to10,000 degrees F and start a fire.

Most homeowners are aware of home safety, but since it’s hidden and somewhat mysterious, many don’t think about the condition of the electrical system. If you have any concerns about yours, contact Air Assurance. We provide trusted HVAC for Broken Arrow homeowners.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about electrical systems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.

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