The kitchen is often the most-used room in the house, from preparing meals to helping the kids with their homework. While you might not have the time (or funds) for a full kitchen renovation, these 6 electrical upgrades make this space more functional and beautiful.
1. Under-Cabinet Lighting
Not only does proper lighting make your work at the cutting board less dangerous, but it also improves the aesthetic quality of your kitchen. Under-cabinet lighting is moody and dramatic, but it also serves as task lighting for preparing meals and reading cookbooks.
If your home's electrical system is not already set up for under-cabinet lighting, an electrical contractor will remedy the problem. He or she knows how to install complex lighting systems that give you maximum control over the intensity and quality of light.
The National Electrical Code requires electrical outlets be installed so there is never more than 12 feet of space between two outlets on a wall or more than 6 feet between an outlet and an obstruction (such as a door or window). This "6/12 rule" isn't always practical for a kitchen, however.
Modern kitchens need more electrical outlets because domestic chefs use more gadgets and devices than ever before, such as:
Having an electrician, like one from All American Air & Electric, Inc., add more outlets to your kitchen will make cooking far less stressful. You will not have to unplug the toaster just to use the food processor, for example, if you prefer to keep those devices on the counter.
3. GFCI Circuit Breakers
Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are necessary to prevent electrocution, especially in "wet" rooms of the house like kitchens and bathrooms, where electrocution is more likely. If your kitchen is not currently equipped with these circuit breakers, consider upgrading.
The GFCI shuts off the circuit when it senses even small changes in electrical current. You will feel safer and more comfortable working in your kitchen after you have brought it up to code.
4. Exhaust Fan
An exhaust fan offers several benefits in the modern kitchen, including:
If your kitchen is not equipped with an exhaust fan, hire an electrical contractor to help you install one. Factors such as insulation and venting space make this a difficult do-it-yourself job, especially if you have no experience with electrical installation.
5. Dimmer Switches
The number of lights in your kitchen is not the only consideration. Dimmer switches allow you to control the intensity of light from a specific fixture, such as under-cabinet or overhead lights.
Consult with an electrician to discuss the installation of dimmer switches or fading components. Not only does this give you more control over the quality of light in your kitchen (such as a romantic dinner for two at the breakfast table), but it also reduces energy costs when you don't use full power.
6. Electrical Panel Upgrade
If you live in an older home, you might have upgrade appliances, such as your:
Modern appliances sometimes require more power to operate safely, which means your current electrical panel might not be sufficient to power your appliances. Consult with an experienced electrical contractor if you notice problems in your kitchen.
For example, the lights might dim when you plug in your crock pot or the breakers might trip entirely every time you run your dishwasher. These are all signs that your electrical panel requires an upgrade.
Creating the best marriage between form and function in your kitchen can be challenging, but the transformation starts with your electrical system. Hiring a professional will protect you and your family from injury, as well as ensure the best performance from your appliances and fixtures.
Do you desperately desire to remodel your kitchen? Before you can begin this worthwhile task, you’ll need to secure a reputable contractor in your area. Inform this professional of your specific wants and needs for your space. For instance, you might wish to remove the wall separating your kitchen from your living room. Your contractor can determine if this wall is a load bearing one. You may also want to move the sink in your kitchen from one location to another one. On this blog, I hope you will discover valuable tips to help you design the kitchen of your dreams. Enjoy!