All of us want to use electricity as safely, carefully and efficiently as we can, but unfortunately most of us lack the knowledge to run our home to its maximum potential.
We often avoid looking at the more complicated electrical faults or problems that arise until something simply stops working, and then we call in a professional electrician – which only ends up costing us in both increased bills (due to wasted electricity) and additional labour charges.
6 Simple Electrical Maintenance Tips
Nevertheless, there are a number of simple ways of looking after electricity usage in your property – so don’t feel pressured to hire out monthly electrical maintenance services from over-priced contractors. Just take note of the following tips and advice to help you run your home as safely and efficiently as possible:
- Don’t overload a single electrical outlet. This may sound obvious, but it’s one of the most common reasons electrical appliances don’t last as long as they should. If you have to use an extension cord make sure you don’t run everything at once for extended periods of time. If possible, always use a different outlet to spread the electricity usage across the home.
- When an appliance isn’t in use make sure it’s turned off. Again, another obvious tip, but many homeowners leave various switches and devices on long after they have been used. This doesn’t just waste electricity but can also prove dangerous – items like hairdryers and hair-straighteners especially have been known to catch fire if left on after use.
- Use surge protectors and circuit breakers where necessary. While extension cords do undoubtedly come in handy, especially in smaller homes where there are lots of people, you can take the extra precaution against electrical failure by installing these protectors and breakers in the most used outlets in the property. They work best for televisions and computers, and work by re-routing or suppressing any high-voltage spikes or ‘surges’ in the power line, which could damage the item in use or even cause electric shock to the user.
- Know your DIY limits and don’t attempt to attack dodgy electrical faults yourself if you don’t have the knowledge or experience to do it properly. Even something that looks simple, such as frayed wires or a broken fuse, should be left to a professional if you lack the confidence. You might resent paying the labour fees, but broken appliances can end up costing a lot more to replace if you mess things up by yourself.
- Dust your home regularly and keep areas around electrical devices as clean as possible. This one might sound a little indirect, but dust is a major contributor to electrical device failure, as it clogs up filters and systems and prevents them from working at their maximum efficiency before they break down completely.
- Keep up with product recalls and always use up-to-date appliances. Any faulty items should be returned to the store or supplier as soon as possible, and remember that any electrical devices older than ten to fifteen years will often work at less than half their optimum efficiency – so aim to replace them as soon as you can, to help reduce the pressure on your electrical supply and outlet.
If you want additional advice or more specific information about particular products or outlets in your home, you can always call up a professional maintenance electrician or an electrical maintenance engineer, who can look over any problems you have and offer extra ways of safely using electricity in your home.