With a new year comes new resolutions. One resolution type that may not be in the forefront of your mind, is maintaining and inspecting your home electrical system. There are several components that should be managed yearly, if not more often. Each of the below tasks can help save you money throughout the new year!
Replace Old Light Bulbs
Light bulbs sadly don’t last forever and will eventually need to be replaced. It’s a good idea to inspect all the bulbs in your home at the beginning of the year and replace any that have gone bad. When choosing the type of light bulb, LED’s are typically better than incandescent bulbs. LED’s cost more, but are more efficient, use less electricity, and last longer than incandescents, leading to more savings in the long run.
- Test GFI Outlets
GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) outlets should be installed anywhere an outlet can come in contact with water since water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Their purpose is to stop electrical shock in the event a ground fault occurs. GFI outlets should be tested every month to ensure they’re properly functioning. Each GFI outlet has a test and reset button, you’ll need to hit the test button to trip the outlet, then the reset button to restore power. If it resets the outlet is still in working condition, if it doesn’t, it’s time to get it replaced!
- Install Home Surge Protection
Surge protection is meant to protect your electrical appliances and devices in the event there’s a surge in electricity. It’s a lot cheaper to install a surge protector, rather than replacing your electronic devices in the event they get destroyed. Surge protectors are installed at your electrical panel and are built to withstand any influx in electrical current. In the event an electrical surge occurs, the protector will gound the electricity diverting it away from your home and electrical devices.
- Replace Alarm Batteries
Many homes have alarm systems as well as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Those systems are only helpful if they have power. Both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will beep when the batteries are dying, signaling it’s time to change them. Make sure to replace the batteries in every single device to guarantee their working condition, doing so could save your life.
Having your electrical system inspected can help you determine what within your home needs to be fixed to prevent damage. Most electrical fires occur because of broken wiring, defective insulation, or short circuit arcs. Inspectors will thoroughly evaluate and report on your whole home, including but not limited to: your electrical panel, outlets, circuits, switches, breakers, fans, smoke detectors, and exposed wiring. Your safety is important, give us a call today to conduct an inspection!
- Look Over Your Breaker Panel
Breaker panels control all of the power to your home, if they go bad or get damaged you’ll lose power to one or all of the rooms in your house. When inspecting your panel, look for signs of rust and corrosion, and check that each breaker flips on and off correctly. If any of the breakers stick, or corrosion is evident, contact an electrician to upgrade your panel sooner rather than later.
- Inspect Your Outlets
Every so often outlets can go bad, it’s a good idea to check them frequently for functionality. You can purchase block testers at any local hardware store to diagnose your outlets. It will plug into an outlet and display a series of lights which will indicate some of the most common outlet wiring issues.
- Examine and Replace Old Extension Cords
Like most things, extension cords wear down over time. It’s good to inspect them annually, if not regularly. You’ll want to be sure to examine them for breaks, nicks, or any other damage. If there is damage you can either repair the cord or replace it. Be sure to do so as soon as possible to reduce the hazard.
Starting a new year is always exciting because it means new beginnings. It a time where anything is possible, where you can make changes to your lifestyle for the better, and overall start off fresh. If you have any electrical concerns now is the time to address them. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, give us a call at 1-877-563-5328, we’d be happy to send one of our experienced electricians to help!