Electrical contractor in Bethesda MD, Meyer Electrical Services Inc.
Written by Walt Meyer

Upgrading Older Apartment Buildings Electrically – Part 1

Older apartments constructed prior to the 1950s are often highly desired for their architecture, spaciousness, and craftsmanship. Apartments of that era were built when residences consumed much less energy. They were capable of handling kitchen appliances, radios, lighting, and televisions of that time. Unfortunately, their original electrical equipment and wiring are now outdated, and will need upgrades to meet current power demands and safety requirements.

Post World War II, air conditioning became much more commonplace, and older homes were not equipped to handle the extra loads. Although the computers and electronic devices that arrived decades later do not require much power, they have a tendency to generate harmonics, high-frequency currents that may cause wiring to overheat and start a fire.

Heating back then was provided primarily provided by fireplaces, which is another reason many older apartments are considered so attractive today. The drawback is they may not be able to handle the power requirements of typical electric heating units or water heaters.

If you are an apartment building owner considering an electrical upgrade, you should work with an experienced and licensed electrician who will provide the proper guidance you’ll need from the beginning. The following will discuss several topics that will help make your project successful.

Basic Guide for Electrical Upgrades

What may be the most important principle of an electrical system upgrade for older apartments is minimizing the electricity they will require afterwards, which will decrease both costs and potential problems.

Energy Efficiency

By installing energy-efficient LED lighting and ENERGY STAR appliances, you will help ensure that the electrical load of the complex won’t jump dramatically after the upgrade. The installation of a smart thermostat will also optimize the electrical consumption of the HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) unit.

Part 2 will discuss 220-Volt Appliances, Sizing the Upgrade, and Protection System.

Electrical Services You Can Trust

Founded in 1991 and serving Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services you can trust, including:

• Standby Generator Installation
• Panel Upgrades (Heavy-Ups)
• Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
• Structured Cabling
• Circuit Breaker Replacement

Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.