We all know winter in Canada can be harsh, and the spring is no exception. It’s no secret that these two seasons combined make for one of the coldest seasons in the world! This, of course, demands a higher consumption of electricity which is why we’ve created this winter/spring-electrical-checklist for your household so you can be more efficient with your use of electricity this time of the year!
Follow these tips to make sure your electrical system won’t fail exactly when you need it and to set an example of efficient energy use.
1. Keep an eye out for any electrical hazards
Even though you want to be warm, having a fire due to an electrical hazard is not what you are looking for. So, be aware of any threats at your place.
For instance, many people stop using their HVAC and rely on personal space heaters which, although effective, should never be left unattended. Always try to plug them directly into your wall sockets, because using cord extensions often increases the risk of a short circuit. Another example is the use of electric blankets. If yours has frayed edges, it’s time for a new one.
2. Remember: a winter/spring electrical system inspection can be your best friend
Yes, right when you finish reading these tips, call one of our skilled doers. There’s nothing like having the security that your electrical system is at its best, so watch out for any overload that may cause a breakdown.
If your system is outdated, now it’s the perfect time to update it and Just Get It Done. An electrical inspection is a simple and effective way to ensure the safety and functionality of your system.
3. Furnace Maintenance
This is the device that keeps your house warm and that’s why it is mandatory to include it on your electrical system checklist. It's important to check it before winter arrives, but we also recommend you to check it right after winter, this way you'll guarantee a “healthy” furnace.
Having a “healthy” furnace will guarantee you a very warm home and low electric bills. Go and get some tools and complete this checklist:
First, disconnect the gas and electricity supply.
Clear out the furnace’s interior to clean it. Use a damp cloth on the surfaces.
Look over all wires. Check everything is well connected and that there are no wires torn or bitten. If that’s the case, replace the damaged ones immediately.
Apply electric motor oil if it has an oiling port. It has to be this special oil, not car oil or another type of oil.
Check the motor’s belt and if it is deteriorated, change it.
Inspect and clean the furnace ducts. This is important because if there’s something blocking up the air pass, it may be dangerous and the furnace will have to work more.
Examine the furnace filter and clean it or replace it.
And, to finish, test the furnace.
If you think this may be too complex or you don’t have the abilities or tools to do it by yourself, Just Get It Done by getting in touch with one of the experts in the area.
4. Get efficient electronic gadgets
Buying electronic gadgets from an unknown brand may appear to be less expensive than buying the original ones. The truth is that they cost less when you pay for them, but they might turn out to be more expensive, if they result in an electrical hazard.
When buying an electronic gadget always check for:
Safety instructions, either in a small paper or in the box itself.
The quality of cables or other parts. Make sure there are no peeled wires or other visible damage.
By doing this, you’ll be getting efficient appliances that consume a normal amount of electricity and you won’t be taking any risks.
A really useful electronic gadget we recommend to acquire is a light timer. With it, you can control your electrical system and be sure everything is working when it is supposed to. For example: If you don’t like to get home in the dark, it is possible to get the front door light or the garage light to turn on before your arrival; or to have the water pump running just for a few hours.
By using it, you will be limiting the electrical system consumption, meaning that electrical bills won’t be a living nightmare.
There are different types of light timers in the market. You should buy one that fits your needs. There are some with daily schedules, others with weekly schedules, and some others have security settings.
A light timer will help you to get a warm, safe, and functional house.
5. Give your thermostat a hand
During these cold months, the thermostat is one of your best friends, so you want to make sure it is working properly.
Look for possible leaks of cold air. If it’ s entering the house, the place will never get warm enough and the thermostat will be running improperly as it will try to heat a room that is still cooling. This could damage the thermostat or furnace while increasing the electric bill. Check on your pipes, your windows, and any other surface prone to leaks and insulate them as quickly as you can.
Having an air leak is like having an open window during winter or spring without you knowing. You’ll start wondering what’s going on, and you’ll probably go and check the thermostat and yell something like “I’m freezing my…” -well, you get the point.
So, remember, keep an eye out for your thermostat, and program it if you can.
6. Get some good habits and help everyone
The main idea is that you always keep in mind that you should save electricity. As we said before, during these cold seasons there’s obviously a higher demand for electricity because everyone wants to be warm, and well, can you blame them? So, unplugging electrical items you don’t use on a week to week basis is one small way to ensure you’re not spending more electricity than you need.
Another good habit is keeping your thermostat at 20 C degrees. We know it may look like a shock but, according to Consumer Energy Center, any degree beyond that will increase your electric bill 3-5%.
These basic tips about the electric system will help you cover the three main bases: your comfort and that of your family, your wallet, and your household. Make of this spring a pleasant season with this short list, and you will be the king/queen of the hill.