As holidays roll closer, new games and new technologies are either released or become part of a greater ad campaign to get all of the holiday shoppers ready to purchase. From NVIDIA's Pascal architecture bringing in a line of new, expensive graphics cards to a slew of new gaming consoles and console upgrades, there's a lot of new entertainment demands that could test your home's electricity in more ways than you thought. Here's what to consider before investing in all the new gaming opportunities to make sure you have enough power, stability and comfort.
Electrical Capacity and Stability
Devices are becoming more energy efficient (or at least claiming to be more efficient) as years go by, but people are also buying more electronics. A gamer needs at least a display, a gaming system, and possibly a separate sound system, and some gamers need multiples. That means more than one monitor, television, gaming console, computer, set of speakers, and many other peripherals.
Each of these major devices comes with a specific electrical load, creating two concerns:
- Can the home handle increased load?
- Is the wiring stable enough to not fail under load?
The first question is for your house in general, and, unless you get a really powerful sound system, it's not likely that your electrical layout's load or capacity will be challenged by a few gaming consoles or displays. It's still a concern because of everything else in your home, such as washers, dryers, different cooking devices, and anything else that could trip an electrical breaker and unceremoniously shut off--and damage--your gaming devices.
The second question is more specific to gaming consoles, desktops, laptops, or any type of computer. Their existence--that is, the series of data streams that constitutes what you use and play--can be corrupted if the power goes out at the wrong time.
Most homes in the US--and certainly most modern homes--should have the capacity to handle a gaming household that isn't running industrial electronics. The bigger concern is damage over time from heavy electrical loads on old, brittle wiring. Pests, such as rats, could have nibbled their way through the wires as well, or the wiring could have been installed incorrectly.
Bringing an Electrician in for Repairs and Improvements
An electrician can repair most wiring problems at varying levels of effort, with the biggest problems sometimes requiring the walls to be torn down. If work needs to be done, you may as well ask for improvements.
One major improvement would be to make sure that your gaming area(s) are prepared. Make sure that you have enough outlets in places where you plan on putting a console or computer to avoid too much wire tangling or overuse of power strips or surge protectors.
If you're playing online games, you don't want to rely on long, stretching network cables acting as tripping hazards or requiring repeaters that reduce the data quality. Instead, an electrician can bring network wiring through the walls to get to certain areas without being an eyesore. Network devices can also be installed in the walls with a neat tray or slot that can be used for access.
Contact an electrician like JF Electrical Contractors, Inc to discuss your home's wiring and to be ready for the upcoming gaming season.