One of the best ways to protect your family and your investment is to go down an electrical maintenance checklist to make sure your home’s electrical health is in tip-top shape.
Here’s your Ultimate Spring Electrical Maintenance Checklist
- Change Batteries in Smoke Detectors & Test Carbon Monoxide Detector – We put this one at the top of the list because most homeowners understand the importance of checking the batteries in their smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. First, test both the smoke and carbon monoxide detector by finding the test button on the front or side of each unit. If the alarm doesn’t sound, you may need to replace the batteries. Smoke detectors should be tested every month, since they can be the difference between life and death. Carbon monoxide detectors require less maintenance but should be replaced every five years. If you’re not especially good at keeping track of time, it may be wise to use a calendar to set a reminder.
- Inspect Electrical Cords, Outlets & Sockets – Check outlets and unplug extension cords and appliances when not in use. Frayed or old wiring can lead to an electrical fire if left unrepaired. You’ll need to replace old outlets with GFCI outlets to eliminate the risk of electrical shock and prevent tipping your breakers. For situations that involve replacing old outlets and repairing faulty wiring it is best you contact a professional electrician to inspect the outlet and repair it accordingly.
- Check Appliances – All appliances should be plugged into a GFCI outlet for added grounding and surge protection. This is especially the case with refrigerators, washer and dryers, and wall unit air conditioners.
More things to do!
- Clean Air Vents & Filters – Whether you have central heat and air, or you have stand-alone heating and A/C wall units, you’ll want to make sure they are cleared of any dust and debris. This means checking their filters. Things like pollen, dust, dirt, allergens can accumulate through the winter months. For washable filters, clean them accordingly. For disposable filters, find out what size and type of filter you need and order a replacement. Another important thing to do is check to see that all indoor and outdoor vents are free of obstructions.
- Survey the Exterior of Your Home – The exterior of your home is just as important as in the interior. Check to see that all outdoor outlet covers are able to close properly and also inspect the outdoor outlets. To see that they are in good shape. See that all outdoor lighting hasn’t been damaged due to winter weather. And also survey your property for tools or yard equipment that may be left out or still plugged in. See if trees are trimmed back and not entangled with the main electrical wires. If a branch does manage to break off and sever any of the outside electrical wires, DO NOT approach a live wire on your own. Immediately call your power company to send a crew out.
- Prepare Your Home for Power Outages & Surges – With summer fastly approaching and temperatures likely on the rise, it will mean more Americans running their air conditioning units around the clock. When the electrical grid is overrun and pushed beyond its limits, power outages and surges can occur. It is important that you have some added safety measures in place in the event of a power outage. Having your home outfitted with whole house surge protection can help protect your home. Especially if the electrical grid experiences a jolt. Or also your appliances are conflicting with one another during peak hours. Having an emergency kit with flashlights, water and possibly a hand-crank charging station for your smartphone is always a good idea. Lastly, generators are an excellent idea if you are trying to avoid outages altogether. A generator can power your house through storms, power surges, and unforeseen disasters.
- Schedule an Energy Audit: An energy audit is helpful. That’s because it allows homeowners to see how they can make improvements to their electrical system. Conserve energy and save money on their utility bill. Little things like adjusting your water heater temperature by just a few degrees or installing a programmable thermostat can save you a substantial amount of money throughout the year.
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