As the nights get longer and temperatures get lower, many Hendersonville residents find themselves spending more time indoors. Likewise, most of us start to rely more on electricity, from home heating to artificial lighting.
What you may not realize is that all that electricity usage doesn’t just cause a spike in your energy bill. It increases your chances of coming face to face with the dangers of electricity.
Believe it or not, 8% of all Halloween fires are caused by electrical malfunctions. Today, we’re going to share some electrical safety tips that will get your family through the fall season.
Read on to learn how to prepare your Hendersonville, TN home for cooler weather without compromising safety.
Inspect and Repair Wiring
Scheduling an electrical inspection is one of the most important things you can do as we move through the fall months and into winter. Something as simple as a flickering light can indicate that your electrical wiring needs repairs. However, not all electrical issues are immediately noticeable.
Hiring a professional inspection ensures that you know about any emerging electrical hazards in your home. Your LMC electrician will not only identify but also repair any issues before they lead to shortages or electrical fires. That way, you can use your HVAC system, lights, and electronics in peace.
Clean Ducts and Vents
After a long summer season, your air ducts and vents may have a buildup of pollen, pet hair, dust, and grime. In some cases, a buildup in your ducts and vents can trap moisture that becomes a breeding ground for mold. Replacing filters can help, but at least once a year, you should consider professional duct and vent cleaning.
Why does it matter if your ducts and vents are dirty? First of all, it causes your HVAC system to work harder to keep your home cool or warm, which can lead to excess energy usage. Plus, forced air will disturb that build up and send it back into your air, reducing your indoor air quality.
Use Space Heaters Properly
Heating your home can account for up to 27% of your electric bill, making it one of the biggest sources of residential energy use. When temperatures are just starting to drop, it can make sense to use a space heater, rather than turning on your central heating. (Keep in mind that space heaters are only the better option if you’re only concerned with heating a single room at a time.)
Never plug space heaters into power strips. They use too much energy to share a split source with other electronics. When a power strip gets overloaded, it can spark and cause electrical fires.
Consider a Backup Generator
We’ve talked before about preparing your HVAC for fall storms in Tennessee. In addition, you may want to consider installing a backup generator on your property. This will ensure that you can still use at least some of your electric-powered appliances and HVAC system during an outage.
Always hire a professional for generator installation. DIY generator installation can lead to serious errors that can cause electric shocks and other hazards. You should also consult your contractor about how much wattage your generator can provide and how to prevent overloading.
Many Hendersonville homeowners enjoy decorating their yards for Halloween and the fall season. This tends to include lights and other electronic decorations. As you’re increasing your power usage indoors and out, make sure to avoid overloading the system.
First, don’t plug too many electronics into the same extension cord or strip. Talk to your LMC electrician about surge protectors that can distribute electric loads evenly across multiple outlets. Overloading a single outlet or power source will lead to overheating, which can cause smoking, electric shocks, and fires.
Opt for LED
On the subject of holiday decorations, let’s talk about the kinds of lights you should use to decorate your yard. In the past, many homeowners opted for incandescent lights because they were considered the best choice. Now, you can find LED lights in all sorts of shapes, colors, and designs, and they’re much better suited for outdoor use.
LED lights are more efficient and designed to stay cool when left on for hours. This reduces the chance of overloading and overheating, which will keep your home and yard safe.
Use Outdoor-Appropriate Cords
Whether you’re adding lighting to your yard for functional purposes or you’re putting out electronic decorations, it’s crucial that you use outdoor-appropriate extension cords. These cords are designed to withstand different climates and have some waterproofing features. Extension cords that aren’t marketed for outdoor use should stay inside.
When you’re handling these cords, make sure to keep them away from puddles. Whenever possible, elevate the cords so they’re not resting on the ground. Before you plug anything into your outdoor outlets, have them inspected and repaired as needed.
Service Your HVAC
Your HVAC system isn’t designed to last forever. There are many components that can break down with time, but regular HVAC service can help. When your HVAC has been working hard all summer, it’s helpful to have it inspected and repaired before switching over to central heat.
When looking for HVAC contractors, consider a company that can help in multiple ways. At LMC, we’re here to inspect and repair everything from your electrical wiring to your HVAC system to your generator. No matter when you need us, we’ll be there.
Don’t Ignore the Dangers of Electricity This Fall
It’s natural to take your electricity for granted, especially when you start relying on it more in the fall season. Our goal isn’t to make you afraid of the dangers of electricity. Instead, we’re here to educate Hendersonville, TN homeowners and give you the tools to practice electrical safety.
Lanham Mechanical Contractors has been family-owned and operated since 1993, serving homeowners in Hendersonville, Nashville, and beyond. All of our electricians are licensed, insured, and committed to the safety and satisfaction of our clients. As you get ready for the cooler months, contact us and let us know how we can help.