Your Electrical Maintenance Checklist for the Summer
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Posted May 8, 2020
Is summer your favorite season? You’re not alone! Spring and fall have turned into some people’s favorite seasons. But many Americans still say they consider summer to be the best time of the year. And can you blame them? From swimming in the pool to going to concerts, there are so many fun things to do in the summer. It’s why many people look forward to it all year long. But there is one thing homeowners don’t love about summer: High electric bills. If you don’t take the time to do electrical maintenance on your home ahead of summer, you could end up paying a fortune for electricity before it’s over.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prevent your electric bills from skyrocketing this summer. Use this electrical maintenance checklist to make your bills more manageable and to keep your home safe throughout the season.
Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Is Ready to Go
The weather in states like Tennessee, Kentucky or Alabama is on the milder side throughout most of the year. The average annual temperature hovers right around 70 degrees.
But in the summertime, it can get very hot and most of the surrounding areas. It’s not uncommon at all for the temps to jump up into the 90s in July, August, and sometimes even September.
This means you’re going to need to turn your home’s air conditioner on early and often during the summer months when you live in the south. It’s the only way to keep your home comfortable when the weather gets to be unbearably hot.
Not only is electrical maintenance important, but AC maintenance is just as necessary. Before you start using your AC on a regular basis, though, it’s essential for you to have it serviced. It’s also important to make sure that your home’s electrical system is prepared to deal with the strain that your AC is going to put on it.
If you notice that circuit breakers in your home’s electrical panel trip when you turn your AC on, that’s not a good sign. It indicates that your electrical panel isn’t prepared to provide the amount of electricity your AC needs to function.
Rather than ignoring this problem, it’s a good idea to have an HVAC technician and electrician come out to take a look at your AC and your electrical panel. They can help you figure out what’s wrong and make the necessary upgrades to keep your AC humming all summer long.
Set Up a Smart Thermostat
The average electric bill in Tennessee is much higher than the average electric bill in most other states.
This is because people living in Tennessee tend to use more electricity than those living elsewhere in the country. At 1,238 kWh per customer, Tennesseans have the second-highest average monthly usage rate in the country, behind only South Carolina.
There are all sorts of things that you can do to limit the amount of electricity that you use in the summer. One of the best ways to do it is by setting up a smart thermostat like the Nest Smart Thermostat.
A smart thermostat will make it easy to program your home’s air conditioner. You can control it from anywhere and even keep track of how much energy your AC is using on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
By turning your AC up one or two degrees and running it a little less often than you do now, you can save a lot of money on your electric bills. You can also reduce the strain that you’re putting on your home’s electrical system.
Unplug Devices and Appliances You’re Not Using
Walk around the inside of your home and make a list of everything that you have plugged into an electrical outlet. From lights and TVs to printers and kitchen appliances, your list will be a lot longer than you might have expected.
Once you’ve done that, take a good, long look at the list and figure out how many of the things on it actually get used every day. If you have a lot of things that aren’t being used day in and day out, it’s smart to walk back around your home and unplug them.
Even if you don’t have them turned on, things that are plugged into your home’s electrical outlets will still draw some power and waste electricity. By unplugging them, you can save a little bit of money every month and prevent your electrical system from working any harder than it has to throughout the summer.
Test Out Ceiling Fans and Make Repairs to Them
Does your home have ceiling fans hanging in different rooms throughout it? If not, you should consider putting some into place now!
Ceiling fans can work wonders for homeowners—both when they’re running their air conditioner and when they’re giving their AC a break.
When your AC is turned on, you’ll be able to keep it a few degrees higher than usual when you have ceiling fans running along with it. Ceiling fans will create a wind-chill effect in your home that’ll make it feel even cooler than it is.
When your AC is turned off on milder days, ceiling fans will help keep you and your family cool without using up much electricity at all. Simply sitting under a ceiling fan for a few minutes can make you feel comfortable in your home.
In order to make the most of your ceiling fans, though, you’ll need to test them every now and then and contact an electrician if you notice that they’re not working right. An electrician can either repair or replace your ceiling fans so that you can continue using them to their full potential.
Replace Old Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There are about 350,000 home fires that take place every year. They cause more than 2,500 deaths and more than 11,500 injuries. They also result in about $6.5 billion worth of property damage.
It’s worth noting that the majority of home fires occur in the fall and winter seasons when people are running their heating systems. But it’s also worth noting that a fire could break out inside of a home at any time.
Because of this, homeowners should test out their smoke detectors as often as they can and replace them as necessary. If you find that a smoke detector isn’t working, put a new one into place to reduce the chances of a fire doing extensive damage to your home.
Additionally, you should test out the carbon monoxide detectors in your home, too, as part of your electrical maintenance routine. Some people believe that carbon monoxide doesn’t pose much of a threat in the summer. But it can be every bit as deadly in the summertime as it is at other times of the year, especially in the aftermath of storms.
Get a Generator to Protect You From Bad Storms
Speaking of storms, there are going to be at least a few bad storms in the Nashville area this summer. It seems like there are always several of them that sneak up on homeowners every year.
If a bad storm were to start tomorrow and knock out the power to your home, what would you do? It could cause all kinds of serious complications if the power outage lasted for more than just a few minutes.
Alleviate your worries with regards to bad storms by obtaining a generator for your home this summer. There are so many benefits that come along with having a generator handy following a storm that knocks out power.
You can use your generator to:
- Keep appliances and critical medical equipment turned on
- Power your home’s sump pump and prevent any flooding from taking place
- Turn on lights to ensure your home stays secure in the midst of a power outage
Make sure you get a backup generator for your home that’s large enough to provide you with all the power you need. This backup generator sizing guide can point you in the right direction.
Put Surge Protection Into Place
If a power surge were to hit your home this summer and cause a brief spike in your home’s electrical current, how much damage would it be able to do?
Most people would see tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment go down the drain. A power surge could do extensive damage to everything from air conditioners and pool pumps to laptops and smartphones.
If you’re concerned about the possibility of a power surge taking place in your home, you should think about putting surge protection into place. There are whole-home surge protection devices that can protect your home’s electrical system and everything plugged into it.
Trim Any Trees That Hang Over Power Lines
Most of the tasks on your electrical maintenance checklist can be done inside of your home. But there are a few things that you can do outside to protect your electrical system.
For example, you should take a look outside your home this summer and see if there are any trees that hang over the power lines connected to your property. If there are, these trees should be trimmed so that they aren’t in a position to do damage to the power lines at any point.
When bad storms strike in the summer, it’s not out of the ordinary for them to cause branches to fall off trees. All it takes is one of these branches to knock out the power to your home. And it could take hours, if not days, for the electric company to restore your power.
Hire someone to come and trim your trees so that there is no chance of this happening. You won’t have to worry about the trees that surround your home affecting your home’s electrical system in any way when you keep them trimmed.
Install Exterior Lighting to Keep Your Home Secure
While you’re outside evaluating the condition of your trees, you should take a few minutes to test out your home’s exterior lighting. Turn the lights outside of your home on and off to make sure the bulbs in them don’t need to be replaced.
Ask yourself if you have enough lighting on the exterior of your home as well. Lighting can make it possible for you and your family to spend time outside in the summer. It can also keep your home and your entire property more secure.
If you find that your exterior lighting isn’t cutting it, an electrician can visit your home and install new exterior lighting for you. From basic front porch lighting fixtures to more advanced motion-detecting lights, you can pick and choose which lighting options are right for your home.
See What Other Suggestions an Electrician Might Make
Many homeowners have an electrical inspection done prior to buying a house. But after that, far too many of them fail to ever have another electrical inspection performed.
If you fall into this category, change that by arranging to have an electrical inspection done on your home this summer. An electrician can walk through your home and test out your electrical system to see what kind of shape it’s in.
In a perfect world, they’ll give your electrical system a clean bill of health and tell you to call them again in a few years for another inspection. But many times, electricians can show you electrical maintenance that can be done to improve your system.
See what an electrician has to say about your home’s electrical system and take their suggestions seriously.
Schedule Electrical Maintenance This Summer
Preparing your home’s electrical system for the summertime by performing electrical maintenance is very important. But not all homeowners feel comfortable doing maintenance on their own.
That’s where we can help! If you need an electrical inspection done or electrical repairs made, we would be more than happy to check out your electrical system for you.
Contact us today to make sure your home’s electrical system is ready for the summer.