While you might have heard about modern electrical outlets like smart outlets, there are actually a large number of different outlet types that you can select for your home. Each type of outlet is designed with specific applications in mind, which is why you should have a better understanding of the many options available to you.
GFCI and AFCI Outlets
GFCI outlets are commonly placed nearby water sources in a home because of how they are built. A GCFI outlet is designed to shut down whenever a ground fault or short circuit is detected, which helps you avoid electrical fires and other issues. It's mandatory for these types of outlets to be placed in bathrooms and kitchens because of the appliances used in these locations of the home as well as the high probability that water will be nearby. However, GFCI outlets can be installed in any area of your home if you prefer how they operate. Keep in mind that they are usually more expensive than some traditional alternatives.
As for AFCI outlets, these look very similar to GFCI outlets and actually operate in a similar manner. An arc fault circuit interrupter outlet can protect from arcs of electricity that can occur in situations where electricity jumps directly from one wire into another. If your home has been built after 1999, it's likely that AFCI circuit breakers will already be installed in your home.
Switched and 20A Outlets
Switched outlets are similar to light switches in a room. However, the switch that's placed on one of these outlets provides you with the ability to quickly shut off outlet power with a flick of the switch. If you have a small appliance plugged into an outlet, this type of outlet can come in handy if you don't want to leave the device on whenever it's plugged in. A 20A outlet is an outlet that's simply designed to handle 20 amps of electricity, which is much higher than the standard 15 amps that are handled by most outlets. These are beneficial when using high-powered appliances.
A smart outlet is the perfect type of electric outlet to install in your home if you want a genuinely modern house. These outlets can be controlled entirely from your smartphone, which gives you the power to switch the outlet off and on from any location in the world with a few simple swipes on your phone. If you're currently considering this type of outlet, it's likely that you've already installed a smart home automation hub in your home. If you want to have a smart outlet installed, it's essential that the outlet is paired with a smart hub.
If you tend to use a large number of devices and appliances that have USB cords attached to them, it's actually possible to find electrical outlets that are equipped with two USB ports. These outlets are easy for us to install and still include two traditional outlet receptacles. USB outlets are sleek in design and are essentially the same size as standard outlets. This type of outlet provides you with the ability to charge your smartphone or tablet without needing to use a separate adapter cord.
Looking for an electrical upgrade,, Beacon Electrical Services is here to help! We are your source of lighting and electric for homes in Fairfax, Manassas, Alexandria, and surrounding communities throughout Fairfax.