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GFCI and AFCI: Which Outlets Are Best?

A new GFCI electrical outlet.Your electrical system is easily one of the most important components of your home. A good majority of your appliances and home equipment rely on it to operate, including your HVAC systems and your water heater. Even if you have gas-powered systems, they require an electrical ignition to start.

A malfunctioning electrical system can cause a number of problems throughout your living space. This is more than just being inconvenient and causing you to possibly lose access to various functioning appliances. It’s about the safety of your home for you and your family. Electrical problems can create a serious threat to the health and safety of your family—just ask our electricians in Hamilton, OH about your risks.

“What Can I Do?”

First off, look at the outlets you have installed throughout your home. You may be surprised by how important this is, but whether or not you have GFCI and AFCI outlets, and where they’re located, play a large role in home safety.

Electrocution can occur when there is a short circuit that exposes a person to the electrical current in your home. House fires are another common threat caused by electrical current traveling it ways it is not meant to. How do you prevent this? With the correct and professional installation of GFCI and AFCI outlets.

GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and it monitors the electrical current flowing through it at all times. If that current suddenly starts to flow in a way that it shouldn’t, such as into a person, the GFCI outlet will activate and cut off all current flowing through it. This happens so quickly that your system never even has a chance to produce a dangerous amount of electricity.

GFCI outlets should be installed in any area that has water—the kitchen, bathrooms, your laundry room, even by your pool if you utilize outdoor outlets.

AFCI stands for Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter, and it’s similar to a GFCI, but instead of protecting against electrocution it protects against hose fires. It achieves this by monitoring electrical flow in the system itself. If the AFCI outlet detects anything malfunctioning in the circuit, it breaks that circuit to prevent further risk.

Other Methods to Keep Your Electrical System Safe

Homes today are steadily increasing their electrical demand. That means your electrical system can be easily overwhelmed and can become a risk instead of a convenience. One was to combat this is to have it inspected by a professional who can determine if you may need an electrical panel upgrade or rewiring service.

Even if you don’t think your electrical system is vulnerable, it’s a good idea to have your panel inspected every year or two. The general recommendation for replacement is every 30-40 years, but this lifespan can be decreased if you are consistently adding more and more electrical demand into your home.

At Servall Electric Company, we are “Creating Sustainability through Bright Ideas.” Contact us today to schedule electrical maintenance and to inquire about our other exceptional electrical services.

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