Electric New Year’s Resolutions
When the holidays are over, one of the first things you do may be to take down the holiday lights. Unplug the Christmas lights and/or electric Menorah. It helps cut down on electricity.
But you can do more for your electrical system. Here are 10 New Year’s resolutions for your system.
- Turn stuff off. Here are some very specific “subresolutions”:
a. When you leave a room turn off the lights.
b. Also turn off the TV and anything else that doesn’t need to be turned on.
c. Turn off the ceiling fan. These fans help you feel more comfortable, but don’t need to be on when you aren’t in the room.
d. Turn off your computer when you aren’t using it.
e. An electric blanket is great for saving on heating bills but turn it off when you aren’t using it.
- Use power strips. Appliances and electronics still use power even when they are not in use. Connect many things to a power strip, and then you only have to turn the strip off, rather than everything that is connected to it. Subresolution:
a. Make sure the power strips come with surge protection. You can also consider whole house surge protectors.
- But be cautious. Extensive use of extension cords and power strips could tax your electric system as you need to power more and more things. Add another outlet, or even expand your electric panel.
- Be more efficient with your light bulbs. Those old-fashioned incandescent bulbs use more energy than more energy-efficient LEDs or CFLs. LEDs use 75% less energy and can last up to 50 times longer than incandescents. One quick subresolution:
a. It may be too late for this season but swap out those old Christmas lights for more energy efficient ones.
- Make sure the light matches the socket. Bulbs are not one size fits all. Check the wattage limits on your sockets and make sure the socket can handle the bulb.
- Fill the freezer. It may seem counterintuitive, but your freezer uses more energy to keep a few items frozen. So, don’t be shy about filling it.
- Dust. Those dust bunnies that gather around appliances and electric cords could ignite and cause a fire. So, dust away.
- Change batteries. This really isn’t about your electrical system, but make sure you have fresh batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. It could save your life.
- While we’re on the subject, your smoke detectors should be changed every 10 years.
- GFCI outlets for everybody. These outlets are required in areas where there is water such as kitchens and bathrooms. So if you don’t have them, you should. Subresolutions:
a. If you have these outlets, test them monthly.
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