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When planning any sort of home makeover, thoughts might turn to tapware, decor or appliances. But what about the electrical equipment that ensures everything is running smoothly?
There are a range of benefits to updating electricals to keep up with the times. As technology improves and becomes smarter, there are more options to incorporate a progressive electrical plan into your next home upgrade.
From improved safety to reduced bills, here are just some of the reasons to upgrade your electrical system ASAP.
1. Save energy
“Energy saving is really about being aware of your energy consumption,” Clipsal by Schneider Electric marketing manager Thomas Robin explains.
“Many people don’t know what exactly is consuming energy in their homes and what is not consuming energy. I think before being able to make decisions you need data — you need to know what is going on in your home.”
A simple and non-invasive way is through the Clipsal Wiser Energy Management system. It starts with a module added to your electrical switchboard, meaning there’s no interior wire work required. The module is connected to an app which then receives the real-time data of what is consuming energy in your home.
From here, you can figure out which elements can be dialled down to reduce your overall energy consumption and save on bills.
2. A smarter home
“I think every house in Australia within five years will have a degree of smart technology,” Thomas says. “However, it can be scary for a lot of people.
“Some people think ‘oh my home is old, I don’t know how I can convert it to a smart home’, but it is a lot easier than people can imagine.”
A basic addition is an Iconic Bluetooth light switch or dimmer, which enables you to control the lights in your home through your phone or tablet. Each switch can be controlled individually, allowing you to set timers and schedules for individual lights or areas of your home.
An Iconic Wiser connected socket also allows you to control electronics, switching on and off everything from Christmas lights to gaming consoles and TVs.
3. Greater convenience and ease
Timers and sensors make life so much easier.
Sensor lights, for instance, not only help if you’ve got your hands full, but can also save your power bills from blowing out if you’re the type to forget to turn off the lights.
Meanwhile, timers can control everything from pool pumps to bathroom heating.
“For instance, if you know you’re getting up at a certain time, you can have your bathroom heating turn on for when you get up,” he adds. How luxurious!
3. Improve safety and security
“I think a lot of people replace their light switches but forget a critical feature: the safety switch,” Thomas warns.
“Get an electrician in to run a safety check and first ask them, ‘does it meet the [state regulation] standards?’
“Then ask, ‘what else can I do to protect me, protect my children, protect my house and my devices?’”
Circuit breakers and surge protection can prevent damage to your electronic devices in the event of a lightning strike or other power surge.
Similarly, the Clipsal ArcFault Detection Device helps reduce the risk of electrical fires by locating damaged or loose wires and isolating or tripping these circuits.
Working smoke alarms are also a must for every home. Check the date on your unit to see if yours are up-to-date (they must be replaced every 10 years), and consider if you have enough alarms installed for optimum protection.
Finally, exterior sensor lights also provide added security for your family and home. Not only do they light the way for your family to safely get to your door but they also indicate to potential robbers that somebody is always home, even when they’re not.
5. Elevated style
Clipsal has also developed a stylish range of DIY-changeable light switches.
“We have a range called Iconic that it comes with a variety of [light switch] ‘skins’,” Thomas says. “An electrician installs the switch element in the wall, then on the outside you can click on a skin and change this part whenever you like, without an electrician.
“It doesn’t have to be white and it doesn’t have to be square.” How switched-on!
All pictures supplied by Clipsal.