We know you’re “charged” for the holiday season and 2024. You’ve probably been coming up with a list of New Year’s resolutions. But while you are making that list, here are some thoughts on resolutions to improve your home’s electrical system.

  1. Make sure your extension cords are not damaged; replace them if they are.
  2. Clean up dust bunnies around electrical cords and appliances, as they are fire hazards.
  3. Install more outlets. If you regularly need extension cords or adapters to plug in items requiring electricity, you should consider adding more outlets. And a good rule: never plug an extension cord into another extension cord.
  4. Install and reset ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. You should have these outlets in any area where electricity and water may come in contact, such as the kitchen, bathroom or laundry room, or outside outlets. If you are smart and already have them, test them every month by simply pressing the test/reset button to make sure the outlet trips and resets.
  5. Replace two-prong plugs. While three-prong plugs have been required for decades, older homes may still have two-prong plugs. Three-prong plugs reduce the risk of electric fires and damage to electronics and appliances.
  6. Install a whole-house surge protector. Power surges can damage electrical appliances and devices. In addition to being inconvenient, surges can also lead to losing important data from your computer. More importantly, surges can cause sparks that lead to fire. Whole-house surge protectors reduce that risk.
  7. Label the breakers in your control panel. It is important to know what breakers control what circuits.
  8. If your panel is decades old, consider replacing it.
  9. Test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. While not really part of your electric system, you should replace the batteries once a year. The beginning of the year is a great time to do it. Also replace your smoke detectors every 10 years and your carbon monoxide detectors every five to six years.
  10. Invest in LED lights. These lights are much more energy-efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs. They use 70% to 90% less energy and can last 15 times longer.
  11. Consider a standby generator. Power outages are a common occurrence, due to extreme heat, thunderstorms, etc. They can damage your electronics, spoil food, etc. That is why it makes sense to have a standby generator – just in case.
  12. Consider roof cables. Too late for this year, but if you want to reduce the risk of damage to your roof caused by ice dams going forward, make an investment in roof cables.
  13. Only use an electric blanket at the lowest setting.
  14. Reduce energy consumption. Here are just a few ways:
    1. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
    2. When you are in the room, use dimmers to control the amount of light.
    3. Unplug appliances when they are not in use.
    4. Invest in ENERGY STAR-rated appliances.

Resolve to Contact Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric for Expert Electrical Assistance

Ravinia Plumbing, Sewer, Heating & Electric’s licensed, experienced electricians can help you with all your electrical system needs, from routine maintenance to emergency repairs to installation of industry-leading products. Our customers have relied on us since 1928 (that’s 95 years!) for quality products, knowledgeable technicians and superior service, including 24/7/365 emergency service. That is why we’ve made a name for ourselves as the most trusted plumbing, sewer, heating and air conditioning, and electrical companies in Chicago’s North Shore and Northwest suburbs. Contact Ravinia Plumbing today to schedule an appointment.