While you're knocking out that 'honey-do' list this summer, there may be some things around the house that need a little extra TLC. If you're ready to take on a new project or two, and are thinking of updating some of the systems that keep your home comfortable and safe, we've got a few electric-specific projects to consider. It's easy to let electrical systems slide by as an afterthought as long as they are working, but sometimes an upgrade can make life more enjoyable, make your home more energy-efficient, and most importantly, increase safety in your home.

Breakers and Breaker Panels

If your home's main electrical breaker panel is over a decade old, there's a good likelihood that it doesn't contain certain safety upgrades that are now required by code in new homes. For example, today's code addresses the issue of potential electrical fires more strictly, in terms of the types of breaker switches required for the circuits in your home. AFCI type breakers were once considered non-essential in new homes and remodels, or were required only in certain applications. Now they are required all around new homes. Upgrading your existing breakers to AFCIs are a project worth looking into now.

Breaker panel designs have also improved, in general, but more importantly, as the electrical system continues to age, like any other system in your home, the panel and the breakers experience a certain amount of natural wear and tear. Internal connections may start to slowly loosen up or 'give' a little. Time flies, and now may be time for a closer look.

Given the crucial role that the breaker panel and breakers play in electrical distribution for use all around your home, making sure that this heart of your system is as safe as it was when it was new, and learning about modern safety upgrades that might make sense to consider, are a great project to consider at this time of year. For this kind of work - or inspection - having comfortable access to the electrical service where it connects to the outside of your home can be very helpful.

Energy Efficient Lighting

Swapping out those 'old-school' standard incandescent bulbs for LED options is a good way to upgrade your lighting, and the long term impact on your budget more than outweighs the initial investment. Not only will LEDs (light-emitting diode) help reduce your electric bills, but the bulbs also last a lot longer, reduce your environmental impact, and produce much less heat than those old bulbs (lowering the cooling load on your AC system). Compact fluorescents were once the go-to replacement for incandescent bulbs, but for the same reasons mentioned above, LEDs now are your best choice for light bulb upgrades - and they're available in dimmable versions, too!

Consider a small investment in upgrading your most-used lamps around the house to LED versions, and talk to your electrician about upgrading your permanent indoor and outdoor lighting to LED fixtures. Start experiencing the many benefits of modern, efficient, LED lighting sooner than later. Now, of course, is a great time to tackle the outdoor lights!

Electric Car Charging Station

Ok, maybe this one is slightly less all-inclusive, but it is pretty cool and the trend continues to grow. For those of you invested in your impact on the environment in the automotive side of your life, specifically a vehicle with an electric plug-in option, the charging stations around town are great - if you can find one! So the ultimate solution is to have a charging station at home, as well. Installing an electric vehicle charging station isn't terribly complicated, but it does require an expert team to get the job done right. Save Home Heat has the experience and know-how to make that purchase pay dividends for your gas bills, and for the environment, as well.

Smart Home Integrations

Smart home controls are growing in popularity by the day, and the range and versatility of these tools are keeping pace. While some 'smart appliances' are easy enough to plug in and control with an app from your phone, whole-home integrations such as lighting control around the house - a great security feature - require a little more professional expertise to get hooked up correctly and safely. If you're looking to take that first step toward experiencing a smart home life as we head into the back half of 2018, consult with a trusted electrician to determine what course of action is best for your smart home goals.

No matter what electrical projects you're planning to tackle over the summer, in the Denver- Boulder area Save Home Heat is the pro you need at your side to make sure it all gets done with your family's safety and comfort as the highest priority. And hey, we promise to let you take all the extra honey-do points for going above and beyond that list, and really wowing your family!