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Serving The Greater
Coeur D’Alene & Spokane Area

Serving The Greater Coeur D’Alene & Spokane Area


ACI Northwest Blog

GFCI and AFCI Outlets: What You Should Know!

A new GFCI electrical outlet.Your home’s electrical system is easily one of the most important components of your living space. Almost all of your appliances require this system to work—even gas-powered systems that have an electric starter. So if your electrical system is malfunctioning, you can experience all sorts of problems within your home.

Safety also becomes a huge concern when your electrical system isn’t working properly. Electrical problems of any kind can pose a serious threat to your living space and your family members. Electrocution is a very real threat, which brings us to our topic today—ensuring you have the right outlets in place.

How Your Outlets Protect You

Electrocution occurs when there is a short circuit that exposes a person to the electrical current. House fires are a common threat caused by electrical current traveling in ways that it isn’t supposed to—especially during this time of year with holiday lights and holiday parties requiring increased use of your home systems. One way to prevent hazards from happening is ensuring you have the right outlets installed by professional electricians in Deer Park, WA, in the right places within your home!

  • GFCI Outlets: GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets are those that monitor the current flowing through it at all times. If the current suddenly starts to flow in a way that it shouldn’t—such as into a person—the GFCI outlet activates and cuts off all the current flowing through it. This is done so quickly that it happens before a harmful amount of electricity passes through your system. These outlets are meant for areas of your home that have water exposure—your bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room, namely.
  • AFCI Outlets: These are similar to their GFCI counterparts, but AFCI (Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets protect against house fires by monitoring electrical flow within the system itself. If the outlet detects anything malfunctioning in the circuit, it breaks that circuit to prevent further risk. These outlets are very useful in preventing many threats that electrical malfunctions can create.

Other Methods to Protect Your Electrical System

Choosing the right outlets for the right locations of your home is vital, but they aren’t the only things protecting your electrical system and your home. Your electrical panel is also an important safety feature. But it must be checked at least once a year to ensure it’s still able to meet the demands being placed on it.

Electrical panels, generally speaking, should be replaced every 30-40 years, but even if you’ve added significant electrical components to your home in the past few years (such as an electric heat pump when you were using window units previously), then it may be worth it for you to look into an electrical panel upgrade ASAP.

Whole house generators are also an excellent consideration to protect your home in the event of a massive power outage. This way your electricity will not be interrupted, which is great if you have things like medical equipment or other important machinery you need on a daily basis.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.

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