Local residents are packing up their swim suits and getting out their backpacks, as area children prepare to head back to school this month. It’s no secret that the transition from lazy summer months to busy school days can be stressful. Morning and evening routines can be hectic, especially as parents and children try to re-align their schedules. And those that are sending their college-bound students off to out-of-town universities face additional challenges in helping their children prepare for the realities of living on their own.
But there are simple ways you can help your family prepare for the transition, and Mister Sparky® is here to help! Make the most out of already hectic morning and evening routines, as well as prepare your college-bound kid, with the tips from our electricians below.
For parents with grade school-aged kids, here are some tips to ensure smooth morning and evening routines:
- Make sure everybody gets a good night’s sleep. Use blackout curtains or a sleep shade to help block out artificial light. Research has proven that artificial light suppresses melatonin production, which is essential to get deep restorative sleep. Not to mention, blackout curtains can help when trying to put a young one down while it’s still light out at 8 p.m.
- Putting lights on timers – including outdoor, indoor and night lights – can help conserve energy and help put your lights on “auto-pilot,” so you no longer have to worry about turning them on and off.
- For those parents with “latchkey” kids, teach your children what to do in case of a fire by practicing an evacuation plan with them. Also, check to make sure that all the smoke detectors are turned on and working in the home.
- Consider investing in a security camera upgrade. Technology has given parents the ability to view their latchkey kids from the office via webcams. Using a series of cameras and motion sensors, systems today can notify parents via e-mail or cell phone when their front door opens. Parents can log onto a secure website and monitor home activity.
For parents with college-bound kids, here are a few tips to help prepare them to become renters and to save money on utility bills:
- Renters should inspect the actual apartment unit – as opposed to a model – for electrical issues. Take note of the number and location of phone and cable jacks, and electrical outlets. Make the landlord check into any flickering lights or any singed electrical outlet face plates to help ensure the electrical system is safe.
- Replacing the five most frequently used light fixtures, or the bulbs in them, with Energy Star qualified lights can save more than $65 a year in energy costs.
- Energy Star qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) provide high-quality light output, use 75 percent less energy, and can last six to 10 times longer than standard incandescent light bulbs, which can help save money on energy bills and replacement costs.
- Turning a computer completely off at night can help save energy and an estimated $90 per year.
Call one of our electricians today to schedule any upgrades that could help make your transition from summer fun to scholarly pursuits and responsibilities easier.