Summer is a fun season, often filled with travel, family gatherings and outdoor activity. But it can put more strain than you might expect on your electrical system and pocketbook – and not only because of the heat. Summer storms and lengthy vacations can take a toll, as well.
But don’t worry! Mister Sparky Electrical has complied some “must know” tips and tricks to get you through some of the hottest and stormiest days, as well as ease your mind while on vacation.
Be smart about electricity use:
- Overloading wiring systems with the extended use of air conditioning and other cooling mechanisms can potentially result in serious shock or fire. If your home has an old electrical system (more than 40 years old), it has an even higher chance of danger, making routine inspections especially important.
- Consider installing a ceiling fan to help cool your home during the upcoming summer heat, instead of having to crank up the A/C. Better yet, install an ENERGY STAR qualified ceiling fan, which is 50percent more efficient than the conventional ceiling fan.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lights use 75 percent less energy than incandescent lights and could help you save approximately $130 per year at current electricity prices.
- Lightning can damage or destroy electronics. Because surge protectors will not protect equipment from a lightning strike, it’s best to unplug electronic devices entirely. Use surge protectors to protect electronic appliances from power surges.
- Lightning can enter a home or building through a direct strike, through the ground or through wires and pipes. Once inside, it can move through electrical, phone, plumbing and radio/television systems, so avoid contact with corded phones, electrical equipment and plumbing during a lightning storm. 
- Portable generators can help provide electricity during a power outage, but they have to be properly maintained to be effective. Gasoline can break down relatively quickly. If gasoline sits in a generator too long, it can “gum up” the carburetor. If it sits more than a few weeks in a can, it needs to be stabilized with an additive.
Prepare your home for vacation:
- Add to the security of a lighting system and cut the electric bill by installing a motion detector on outside lights. Installing an outdoor motion sensor can possibly reduce the electric bill by up to $55 a year, not to mention keep away potential intruders.
- Before leaving for vacation, schedule lights on a timer so onlookers will think someone is home. A house without lights can signal to potential intruders that the home is an easy target.
- The Department of Energy estimates that the average U.S. family spends $100 annually on power devices that are not being used. Home owners can reduce energy consumption, save money, and protect their home in case of an electrical storm by simply unplugging appliances not currently in use.
Call Mister Sparky Electrical service today to schedule any repairs or a routine maintenance check to ensure your electrical system can tackle all of summer’s challenges, leaving you peace of mind to enjoy the season.