Electrical Outlet Upgrades to Consider for Your Home
Updated: Oct 6
Electrical outlets might not be something you think about as upgradeable appliances, but what many homeowners don’t know is that they actually have options! It’s not just whether you want two or three-prong (always three); there are several different outlet choices, and each one can bring a different benefit to your house. Here are five outlet upgrades to consider for your home.
GFCI stands for ground fault circuit interrupter, and you hopefully already have them in your house. These are the outlets with the little TEST/RESET button in the middle, but the ability to reset them isn’t what makes them special.
These outlets can turn themselves off if they detect a grounded conductor that shouldn’t be there—which in many cases is a person. They can shut down the circuit in a fraction of a second to prevent electrocution.
GFCI outlets are required anywhere where there’s moisture like around sinks, bathtubs, and outdoor receptacles. Most homes these days are set up with GFCI outlets, but if you’re missing one anywhere there may be water, it’s a really good idea to get one put in.
Are you tired of losing that elusive charging block for your phone or tablet? Do you wish you could just plug in your devices using a USB port? Well now you can!
USB outlets look just like a standard three-prong outlet, except they have two USB charging ports in the middle. That’s right, no more charging blocks! You can plug your phone or tablet right into the wall like any other appliance for easy charging, no extra equipment necessary.
USB outlets rarely come standard in houses, but they’re not difficult to add. Just contact your friendly neighborhood electrician and swap out those old, boring outlets for a modern solution to your device-charging needs.
TRR stands for tamper-resistant receptacle, and it’s a must-have for any home with kids. Every year, 24,000 kids under 10 are injured by electrical outlets. TRR outlets can help prevent curiosity-related electrocutions by closing the outlet when not in use.
When the outlet isn’t being used, spring-loaded shutters come down over the holes. That way, your kids can’t stick foreign objects into the outlet and hurt themselves. When you plug something back in, the shutters are pushed away, and the outlet works like normal.
There’s always that certain lamp in every home. You know, the one that’s way back in the corner where you can’t reach. You never turn it on because it’s impossible to crawl back there to find the switch! Well, there’s a solution to that, and it’s called a switched outlet.
Switched outlets have an outlet on the bottom and a light switch on top. Anything plugged into the outlet portion can easily be controlled with the switch on top. This is great for appliances and light fixtures that you want to keep plugged in but also want the ability to turn on and off easily.
Smart outlets are the next evolution of the simple power outlet, suitable for the 21st century. They work like a normal outlet, but they have a secret. They can be connected to the internet! Why would you want an outlet connected to the internet? So you can control it with your smartphone, of course.
Smart outlets can be controlled from anywhere in the world. Whether you’re on your couch and too lazy to get up, or traveling halfway around the world, you can turn off your lights and appliances right from the palm of your hand.
Smart outlets do require a smart home hub, but if you already have one—or are considering an upgrade—smart outlets are a great addition to add some IQ points to your home.
Upgrade Your Electrical Outlets with IES Home Services
Now that you know you’re not stuck with the same old boring outlets, it might be time for an upgrade! If you’d like to upgrade, it’s always best to hire an electrician. There’s a lot of electricity moving through your wall sockets, and it could be dangerous inexperienced DIYers.
Do you want to add some new features to your home? Trust the experts at IES Home Services for all your electrical needs. We can swap out your old outlets for something a little more suited to the 21st century. Feel free to reach out with any questions, or contact us to get started on your next project today. We’d love to hear from you!
IES Home Electrical Services is a McKinney-based electrical company dedicated to providing area homeowners with the best quality of work and unparalleled customer service, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Proudly serving McKinney, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Gunter, Anna, Aubrey, Bonham, Crossroads, Melissa, Sherman, Farmersville, Little Elm, Princeton, Prosper, Van Alstyne, Hackberry, and Denison.
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