Daily Press

Electrical upgrades to boost your comfort in your home

- By Paul F. P. Pogue

When you think about hiring an electricia­n, you’re probably thinking about maintenanc­e or basic jobs, like installing a ceiling fan or fixing a busted circuit breaker. But many high-end jobs requiring an electricia­n can seriously boost your comfort and enjoyment of your home. Here are four simple paths to better living through electricit­y.

Install home automation

Smart home technology lets you use your voice or phone to activate your home’s essential systems, such as lights, HVAC and television­s. Even your shades can be pulled up automatica­lly, and apps allow you to monitor energy consumptio­n in real time to increase efficiency. “Before long, smart homes will be able to encompass virtually every aspect of our lives,” says Angi interior home expert Rachel Zepernick. “They can save time and increase efficiency in ways you might not have even thought of yet.”

Talk to an electricia­n specializi­ng in home automation to find your options. Installati­on labor cost on home automation averages $800.

Wire a home theater

Are you a movie buff or do you just want to binge your favorite Netflix series on the big screen? To recreate the movie theater experience, hire a pro to install a booming surround-sound system with hidden wires that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. The electrical labor for this task costs around $200 to $800.

“The sky’s the limit when you install a home theater,” Zepernick says. “You can install something small for your family or really splurge on a larger setup suitable for entertaini­ng.”

Once you’ve installed the audio-visual system, you can focus on luxuries like theater-style seating and recliners. Talk to a furniture pro to find out your options. The total at-home theater experience costs an average of $17,000.

Generate your own power

You can lower your power bills (sometimes even to zero) and improve your environmen­tal footprint by installing solar or wind-based power systems.

Such systems represent a significan­t investment — between $18,000 and $34,000 in most cases. However, residentia­l renewable energy can also claim a generous tax credit if you hurry. Systems installed in 2022 can receive a 26% tax credit, which drops to 22% in 2023. This credit expires at the end of next year.

“If you’re thinking of installing renewable energy, you’re leaving money on the table if you wait until after 2023 to do it,” says Angi exterior home expert Scott Reid. “State and local tax credits are also available, so talk to a tax pro to find out what’s available to you.”

Upgrade surge protection

Your circuit breaker provides protection for your house against most surges. However, a serious burst of energy — such as a lightning strike on your home — can devastate your wiring and appliances, causing thousands of dollars in damage. For the best shield against fried electronic­s, consider a whole-house surge protector on your electrical panel. They cost around $300 to install but provide peace of mind against major power spikes.

 ?? DREAMSTIME ?? A home theater is one of the most elaborate entertainm­ent upgrades to install.
DREAMSTIME A home theater is one of the most elaborate entertainm­ent upgrades to install.

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