It’s that time of year when homeowners are ready to tackle all sorts of home improvement projects and start spring fresh. We encourage you to look at all of your electrical appliances and outlets to make sure everything is safe and in good working order for the year ahead. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.
Check Smoke Alarms
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month, and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year. It's also a good idea to vacuum your smoke alarms with a soft brush to clean out any accumulated dust. Too much dust in your smoke detector may cause it to think there is a fire when there actually isn’t. A well-maintained smoke alarm should protect you and your family for eight to ten years.
Inspect Electrical Cords and Outlets
Maybe reorganizing your house is part of your spring cleaning to-do list. If so, this is a perfect time to check the cords to your appliances and make sure everything is operating safely and efficiently. Replace any frayed or damaged cords to reduce the risk of electrical fires. Consider installing surge protectors to protect valuable electronics from voltage spikes. Never have more than the recommended number of plugs in any given outlet. The Electrical Safety Foundation International and the National Fire Protection Association both agree that temporary solutions such as power strips should not be used long-term. Contact an electrician to help install new power outlets in your home to meet your needs.
Think about all the appliances you have throughout your home. You probably have quite a few, especially in your kitchen. Check behind your stove and refrigerator for dust or debris that may be affecting their efficiency. You should do the same thing with your washer, dryer, and HVAC system. Take this opportunity to unplug smaller appliances such as toasters and microwaves when not in use. These appliances are called “vampires” because they draw in energy even when they are not being used. Go throughout your home and see if there are any appliances you are willing to part with. Not only will you free up space in your house, you can lower your electric bill, too!
Change Light Bulbs
Probably the simplest spring cleaning electrical project is making sure that all of your home’s light bulbs are working and match the listed wattage of their respective fixture. Using an incorrect bulb can cause the fixture to overheat and start a fire. You may also want to consider switching any incandescent bulbs in your home with compact fluorescent or LED units. CFLs and LEDs use between 25 and 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs, and they can last three to 25 times longer.
Have questions about your home’s electrical system? Artisan Electric is here to help. Call us at (603) 743-4005 and thanks for reading our blog.