When you say ‘spring cleaning’, thoughts of scrubbing floors and clearing out the closets most likely come to mind.
As licensed electricians, we urge you to carefully inspect your electrical equipment, as well. Each year in America, nearly 50,000 home fires are caused by electrical malfunction or failure, and almost all of them are preventable.
As you check off your spring cleaning list, consider the following safety tips for your home’s electrical fixtures:
Check for rodent damage. Rats, mice other rodents seek warm places to hide out until spring arrives. You may not immediately see evidence of rodents in your home, and this is especially true if they stay in your roof or attic area. However, rodents chewing on wiring in the roof or wall cavities can lead to serious fire hazards in your home. Their sharp teeth can break through the plastic protective coating, exposing the wires beneath and causing them to spark or short out. If you notice outlets working haphazardly, this is a sign of electrical malfunction that needs the attention of a skilled electrician.
Inspect your outdoor lighting. Winter’s damp air can corrode the metal fixtures of outdoor lights, so check each one carefully. Turn each outdoor light on one by one. If the light bulb doesn’t work, replace it with a new one. If the new bulb blows out within the first 48 hours of being inserted, check the fixture’s metal socket for signs of corrosion. If you find rust that has eaten into the metal socket, contact an electrician to install a new one. Corroded sockets are dangerous because they cause heat to build up, which in turn causes the light bulb to blow.
Tap into energy savings. Did you know that air conditioning can account for nearly 25% of your electric bills in the summer? Before the hot weather hits, schedule a home energy audit. You electrician can point out which appliances are the highest energy wasters, so you can determine whether to replace them or run them in other, more energy-efficient ways. Lighting is another area in which you can save big by simply replacing your old wasteful bulbs with energy- efficient LEDs.
Check for signs of mold and mildew. Is there mildew on your bathroom ceiling? This is could be an indication that more ventilation is needed. Having an electrician install an exhaust fan can remove excess moisture from your bathroom and prevent future mildew build up.
Clean your dryer ducts. Dryer fires are a serious hazard that can easily be avoided by cleaning the interior and exterior of your dryer hose and exhaust vent. Inspect your dryer vent for clogs and lint buildup every few months. Once a year, contact a professional HVAC company to provide a thorough dryer vent inspection and cleaning.