Electric Resolutions for 2019
Most people’s New Year’s resolutions focus on getting healthy, saving money, paying more attention to family, etc. All well and good, but how about putting a “charge” in your New Year’s resolutions by changing how you use electricity (sorry about the pun). Here are some thoughts:
- 1. Get the LED in. LED lights, while more expensive initially, last longer than traditional incandescent lights and end up paying for themselves in energy savings. LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last 35 to 50 times longer.
- When you replace them, check the wattage limits on your lighting fixtures.
- Make sure your home has Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) outlets in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, basement, outdoor areas and any other areas where electricity and water might come into contact.
- Reset your GFCI outlets every month. Simply press the test/reset button to make sure they are functioning correctly.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You should do this annually, so the beginning of the year is a great time to test them.
- And maybe replace the detectors. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years. Older carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every three years, and newer ones every five to 10 years depending on the unit.
- Install a whole house surge protector. Power surges are a fact of life, and an unexpected surge during a storm or extremely hot weather can destroy your computer and cause you to lose all the files in it, as well as take out your TV and anything else that is plugged into a wall outlet. A whole house surge protector can prevent that from happening.
- Additionally, make sure you are not overloading any single outlet. It is a lot cheaper to add outlets than to deal with a massive electrical problem, or worse a fire caused by an overloaded circuit.
- Save energy by turning the lights off when you leave the room and turning off and/or unplugging electronic devices and appliances when they are not in use.
- Repair or replace damaged, frayed or loose electrical cords.
- If you have small children in your home, or they visit regularly, make sure your home has tamper resistant receptacles.
- Invest in a backup generator in case your power goes off for an extended period.
- Make your home “smart” with WiFi-enabled security systems, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and lighting and shades.
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