After a long week at work, the last thing you want to do is electrical maintenance on your home, right? Understandable. But, unfortunately, proper maintenance is a must to keep your family safe. Deficient electrical wiring and aging appliances—or improper installation of either—could put the inhabitants of your home at risk. Additionally, it could lower the resale value of your house.
So where do you start when it comes to your home’s electrical maintenance? We’ve got you covered.
Starting Easy: Electrical Maintenance 101
Inspect Your Light Bulbs and Fixtures
Walk around your house and make sure every light fixture, from ceiling lights to table lamps, is using a bulb with the proper wattage. This does three things: prolongs the life of the fixture, elongates the life of the bulbs and helps prevent electrical fires.
Check Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) Outlets
It is important to test your GFCI outlets often. Simply press the test/reset button and replace them immediately if they are are not working properly. This will help reduce the risk of electrocution in areas of your home with running water, like the kitchen and bathrooms.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors (This One is Mandatory!)
As a best practice, test your detectors on a monthly basis and replace your batteries once a year. New Year’s Day is a good reminder. And check each device for an expiration date—smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors every 2 to 5 years to ensure reliability.
Weekend Warrior Status
Extend Electrical Maintenance Outside
As every house owner knows, caring for the outside of your home is just as important as caring for the inside. Do one clean sweep quarterly to check (and replace, if necessary) outlets, cords and extensions on the outside of your home for frayed wires or plug heads.
Protect Your Surge Protector
If your whole home surge protector is damaged or not functioning properly, or if it commonly overloaded, you run the risk of damaging a whole slew of electronics. Check in once each season to ensure it is operating at full efficiency.
Backup Your Backup Generator
Got a backup generator? Good job! It can help keep your family safe and comfortable during a power outage. When is the last time you invested some time into a routine generator maintenance? Probably aren’t patting yourself on the back so much anymore, huh? Here’s what you need to know: Start the generator twice a year to ensure it is functioning. Keep the area around it clean and dry. Change oil as recommended by the manufacturer and maintain proper fuel levels. Replace distilled water in the battery and clean the spark plugs. Talk to a professional if you are not comfortable performing this type of electrical maintenance yourself.
Pro-Level Electrical Maintenance
Inspect Your Electrical Panel
It is too common that electrical panels are not the right size for the home, leading to overloaded breakers. And if your home is more than 20 years old, your panel may not even meet code anymore. Schedule an appointment to have your panel inspected today.
Rest Easy with a Whole-Home Inspection
It’s hard to tell what’s behind your walls. Old or exposed wiring could be lurking, ungrounded outlets could be threatening and electrical fires could be waiting. Consider an electrical home inspection to identify any issues and ensure the safety of your home.
Ready to get started? Contact us today.