The weather is heating up, and with it, so is the load on your electrical system. Don’t let the stress pile up. Protect your home electrical system – and your wallet – from the stresses of summer with the help of these simple tips.
Take a Load Off
Is your electrical system bearing the burden of your poor appliances choices? Don’t become a victim of “operator error” by overlooking these seasonal adjustments to appliance use:
Don’t Blow It
Heating and cooling comprises about 30-50 percent of your electric bill, making it one of the biggest stressors on your electrical system. However there are many ways to reduce that stress, including…
- Keeping your air filter clean.
- Scheduling a professional cleaning and tune-up once a year.
- Clearing your outdoor system and indoor vents of debris and blockages.
- Addressing ductwork leaks.
- Setting your system on 85 degrees when you’re not home, or…
- Installing a programmable thermostat.
Keep Your Cool
Your refrigerator is among the largest consumers of energy in your home. Keep a lid on energy consumption by…
- Ensuring seals are clean and tight.
- Verifying proper operating temperate: 37°-40°F in the refrigerator and 0°-5°F in the freezer.
Keep Things From Boiling Over
The water heating is typically the third largest energy expense in your home. The hotter the temperature of the water, and the more it is used, the harder your electrical system is forced to keep up with the heating demands. Summer is hot enough! Cool your use by…
- Setting water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
- Properly insulating your tank.
- Taking a shower instead of a bath.
- Turning hot water – and your heater – off when you don’t need it.
Hanging clothes on the line rather than running the dryer, the second largest energy-consuming appliance in your home, can keep your home and energy bills from becoming too hot to handle.
Fire up the Grill
Using your stovetop or oven in summer’s heat can really put a strain on your air conditioner and electrical system. Save some dough and maintain comfort by firing up your grill instead.
Reduce Appliance Stress
Today’s homes use a multitude of gadgets and appliances that can cause a considerable amount of stress to your electrical system. Give your system the TLC it deserves:
Flip the Switch
Turning off items that are not in use rather than letting them run such as lights, laptop and mobile devices, TVs, radios, and more can take a lot of pressure off your electrical system. How much? Lighting in the average home accounts for 12 percent, and electronic devices another 10-15 percent. Whew!
Vampire power can really drain you, sucking up five percent of your power bill or more – all for nothing. Among the biggest offenders putting a strain on your electrical system (even when they’re turned off): TVs, computers, microwaves, cell phone chargers… anything with a power adaptor, indicator light, standby function, or clock. Unplug these items or plug them into a power strip, flipping them off when they’re not in use.
Your electrical system can suffer stress from issues outside of your home as well. Are you closing your eyes to these electrical stressors from your home’s great outdoors?
Stay Out of the Spotlight
Outdoor lighting fixtures are heavily used and a great place to take a load off. Updating to more modern technology for outdoor lighting such as motion sensors, timers, and photocells for sensing daylight, in addition to CFL and LED bulb technology, can not only save a pretty penny in energy wasted on unnecessary illumination, but boost security as well.
Reinforce Your Protective Shell
Is the outdoors infringing on your indoors? Your home’s thermal envelope – the outer walls, windows, doors, floors, ceiling – may need support in the form of adequate insulation and air sealing to keep your home comfortable and help you avoid the stress of unnecessarily high energy bills. Ease the hardship on your wires and your wallet by putting this on the top of your priority list.