The power outlets in your home are something you probably take for granted. However, much of your modern lifestyle would be impossible without them. Most of your devices would be useless. You couldn’t have a working Wi-Fi or a television. You couldn’t dry your hair or listen to the radio — the list is endless.
That’s not bad when you consider that the design of those residential power outlets as you know them today dates back to around 1923. The design hasn’t changed much since then. However, how we use them obviously has changed a great deal. If you’re like most people, your home’s outlets now play host to a variety of device chargers. They’re critical to keeping your smartphone and tablets charged and ready to work. But wouldn’t it be nice if you could put all of those chargers away in a drawer somewhere and forget about them?
Now, you can. But only if you upgrade your home’s outlets to include USB charging ports. Doing so will help to bring your house into the 21st century and help it to accommodate your ever-changing power needs. Here’s what you need to know about this new option for home device charging and whether or not you should take the plunge.
What Is a USB-enabled Outlet?
USB-enabled outlets are a response to the growing use of USB ports to charge and power a variety of devices we all now depend on. In form, they’re much like the power outlets that you already have throughout your home, but with a twist. They also have two or more USB ports designed to replace the portable chargers of our devices. They come in a variety of configurations and form factors, all designed to suit your home’s specific electrical needs and installation conditions.
Do I Need USB-enabled Outlets?
Although USB-enabled outlets make an excellent addition to most homes, they’re not for everyone. First of all, if you’re one of the few people who don’t own a plethora of USB-powered devices, you wouldn’t have use for them. However, if you’re like the majority of people who now spend significant parts of their day looking for their various device chargers after misplacing them, they might make sense.
If you’re a heavy device user, it could be worthwhile to upgrade all of your home’s outlets to include USB ports. Then, you’d be able to plug in and charge any of your devices in every room in your home as the need arose. You’d never have to worry about misplacing a wall charger again. Plus, if you choose outlets designed with today’s latest charging technology built-in, you’ll be able to use your new USB-enabled outlets for years to come.
If you’re a moderate device user, however, you might want to upgrade your outlets more strategically. Perhaps you’d want a USB-enabled outlet by your bedside table. You might want another in your living room or your kitchen if you spend more time there. You can install as few or as many outlets as you feel you need. Then, if your needs change, you can always add more at a later date.
To figure out your needs, walk around your home and think about the places where you regularly leave your devices to charge. Then, think of the places where you’re apt to use a USB-powered device while it’s plugged in. That should leave you with a good idea of where adding USB-enabled outlets makes the most sense.
Are There Different Types of USB-enabled Outlets?
If you’ve decided that USB-enabled outlets would be a good addition to your home, the next thing you’ll need to figure out is which kind you need. Not only do you need to think about which type of USB ports your devices require, but also how much power they draw. Using an underpowered USB port can lead to slow charging times or a complete inability to charge your devices.
To simplify things, you could always opt for outlets with a combination of USB types and the maximum amperage available. That would give you the broadest device compatibility and maximum usage flexibility. However, that could lead you to spend more money than you need to. To help you make the right decisions, you’ll need to know what kinds of USB-enabled outlets there are.
In general, most USB-enabled outlets come in one of three form factors:
- A single power receptacle with two USB A ports
- A duplex receptacle with two USB A ports in between them
- A single power receptacle with two USB C ports
- A duplex receptacle with two USB C ports in between them
- A single receptacle with four USB ports beneath it
Then, you have to consider the amperage that the ports support. The type you’ll need will depend on the devices you plan to use with the receptacle. It will also depend on how far into the future you’d like your outlets to remain useful. As USB charging technology advances, devices become more power-hungry and could outstrip your outlets’ ability to keep up.
The major amperages available with today’s USB-enabled outlets include:
- 1- or 2-amp standard USB ports
- 3- or 3.1-amp standard USB ports
- 4 amp fast-charging USB ports
- 4.8 amp fast-charging USB ports
By choosing the configuration that best fits your needs, you can help to future-proof your investment. After all, it wouldn’t do to install new USB-enabled outlets just to end up with too few ports or ports that won’t charge your newest devices.
Making the Decision
Once you’ve chosen to add USB-enabled outlets to your home, you’ll be on your way to updating your home’s electrical system to support your modern lifestyle. Remember, though, that you don’t have to upgrade all of your home’s outlets at once. You can start by adding a few USB-enabled outlets in the places where you’ll use them the most. Add additional outlets later if your needs change. All new USB-enabled outlets are interoperable with the outlets you already have in your home, so they’ll integrate perfectly.
Needless to say, you shouldn’t try and tackle the job of installing USB-enabled outlets by yourself. You should always let a professional electrician handle that work. So, when the time comes, trust the experts at [company name] to install your new USB-enabled outlets.
Expert HVAC and Electrical Services
We’re a family-owned and operated HVAC and electrical services company that’s served the Kaufman, TX, area for over 28 years. If you need an electrical panel upgrade or a ceiling fan installed, for example, we can take care of it for you. Or, if you’d like to add a backup generator to protect your home from unexpected power outages, we can do that too. We also provide heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance services and offer air quality products and duct cleaning. Contact Accurate Home Services today for more information.