Spring is when we think about cleaning things up and getting our homes and businesses ready for the nice weather. Everyone loves being out and doing things when the weather in Florida is sunny and warm, and you want to be sure you are ready too! Having an Electrical Checklist can be a big part of your Spring maintenance.
What is commonly missed, however, is some basic maintenance to ensure your electrical system is ready too. Unfortunately, it is summer that seems to put the largest strain on electrical systems, and if it is not ready, can end with disastrous consequences. Use this electrical maintenance checklist to ensure you and your system are both ready.
1. Electrical Checklist: Air Vents and Filters.
First and foremost, clean out your vents and air filters. This of course means the air filters for your HVAC system. However, it also means doing some basic maintenance for your system to ensure you do not have any airflow restrictions.
For appliances like your HVAC system, which depends on air movement to work properly, restrictions spell big trouble for your electrical system. Increased air resistance means increased electrical resistance, which makes all electrical components and wiring wear more quickly. Do what you can, but also schedule your spring HVAC maintenance to ensure your system runs smoothly and doesn’t stress your entire electrical system.
2. Check Your Appliances.
Along with your HVAC system, plan to check your major appliances. Oftentimes, these are neglected until there is a problem. You want to look at the wires and plugs to ensure they are intact, not frayed, and no signs of singeing or scorching.
For appliances like your vacuum cleaner, check the filter on that as well, and ensure it is passing air freely. There may be two filters, depending on the model, including your primary filter and a HEPA filter, so be sure to look for both.
Finally, check the fan and intake for your freezers or refrigerators. If the exhaust or intake areas for either of these are clogged, it will cause additional electrical resistance, causing the appliance to age prematurely.
3. Inspect Electrical Wiring, Outlets, and Plugs.
While you are in the mood for inspecting, check any electrical wiring you can lay your eyes on, as well as your outlets and plugs. You should ensure that all are free from signs of burning or wear. For wires, check to ensure the insulation is intact, with no signs of melting.
If you suspect there are singe marks on an outlet, consider taking off the faceplate and just looking inside. If you find further evidence to suggest things had overheated, call a qualified electrician to further troubleshoot and fix the problem.
Do not neglect your circuit panel on your electrical checklist. In most modern buildings this will be the panel of circuit breakers. Check for the same signs that anything is askew, including feeling the breakers to see if they are hot to the touch, or any signs of singeing, scorching, or melted insulation.
4. Change safety detector batteries.
Almost everyone knows you should test both your smoke and carbon monoxide detector regularly. However, you should also proactively replace the batteries to ensure they work in a situation your life may depend on them.
Spring and fall are great times to do this because your mind is focused on preparing for the next extreme season. Even if your detectors are hardwired into your electrical system, they will have backup batteries in case your power goes out. So be sure you find out where the batteries are located and go ahead and replace them.
5. Check and Replace Surge Protectors
Many people rely on surge protectors in their homes to protect electrical appliances like computers, phones, televisions, and even security systems. However, most people forget to check them periodically to make sure they are in good working order.
You will want to look at the plug, the cable coming from the protector, as well as the housing. If you see signs of wear, fraying of the cable insulation, or especially singe or scorch marks, you should replace it.
There is usually an indicator light on the protector as well. If this is not coming on, is dim, or flickers, it likely means the protector has absorbed a surge and is no longer working to capacity.
6. Inspect Outdoor Electrical Components.
Many homes in Florida also have outside electrical components. These include landscaping lights, your air conditioning condenser unit, as well as some yard equipment. Check all of these for wear and fraying. Be especially diligent in checking your outdoor extension cables to ensure there is no risk of personal injury.
Also, look around anywhere you know has buried electrical cabling, and make sure this is still buried. If you see any exposed wiring, such as coming to your air conditioner, make sure the insulation is in good repair and is not severed anywhere.
If you find any broken wiring, or signs of shorts or overheating during your electrical maintenance, do not attempt to fix these on your own. Rather, call for a qualified Florida electrician to come and repair the issue and ensure the underlying cause is resolved.
Your Next Move
You should always contact a licensed electrician whenever you consider upgrading or repairing anything electrical. Electricity is nothing to play with, and attempting to fix a problem on your own could worsen your issue or create a bigger problem than you know how to fix. When it comes to installing dedicated circuits, you want to make sure the process goes smoothly and causes no issues.
At D.O.C. Electric Inc., we have the know-how to assist you. We’ll send out a professional electrician to help you figure out which appliances deserve dedicated circuits so that you can configure the electrical system of your home more efficiently and logically. To get in contact with an electrician today, contact us, and we’ll help you get your circuits sorted out.