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December is Home Tips Month: Electricity
For last weeks quick tips, we took a look at roofing. This week, we are focusing on electrical.
Electricity plays such an integral role in our lives year round – but during this season we would venture to say it becomes even more important. While many of us often take it for granted, electricity plays a pretty big part in this time of year – homes lit up with Christmas lights, gathering around to decorate the Christmas tree with everyone’s favourite glass ornaments and lights, sitting in a well lit room with loved ones to enjoy a holiday meal – the list goes on. In fact, many people wouldn’t imagine life, nor the holiday season, without electricity. Plus, electricity not only powers our favourite decorations, but appliances and our cooling and heating systems.
The following are some quick electrical tips to ensure your month of December, and the rest of your year, is an electrically conserved one!
- Unplug your Christmas tree when no one is home or in the room
- Set your outdoor holiday lights on a timer
- Turn off any unnecessary lights
- Turn off lights and electronics as you leave the room
- Make use of the natural light where possible
- Utilize task lighting
- Unplug any unused electronics
- Adjust the hot water heater
- Be efficient with refrigeration
- Manage your thermostat by placing it on a schedule
- Wash your laundry in cold water
Other Quick Tips
The following are some other tips you can utilize this busy month, and year round:
- All your electrical repairs ought to be conducted by a qualified electrician. If you attempt to do them on your own, you could suffer from personal injury and/or cause fire hazards. Prior to staring any kind of electrical repair in your home, ensure that the main power source is turned off. The trivial nature of a repair shouldn’t be a cause to leave the power source on.
- If your home is new, it must have AFCI devices (Arc-fault-circuit-interrupters) to protect bedroom circuits from being a fire hazard. You can also update your older home with such devices as well.
- GFCI (Ground-fault-circuit-interrupters) are recommended highly at water hazard areas. Some of these areas include bathrooms, basements, garages, saunas, and swimming pools, as well as all outlets that are above kitchen countertops.
- Ensure your modern home has outlets within six feet reach of areas requiring appliances/electronics in order to avoid using extension cords.
- While older 2-slot outlets might be typical for your older home, experts recommend upgrading to GFCI receptacles and/or modern wires for grounding safety (with the help of a professional of course).
- Have an expert conduct an energy assessment to help you identify some of the not-so-quick areas where energy consumption can be improved or reduced. An audit can help you learn how to effectively manage the electrical load and how to improve the energy efficiency of your lighting, electrical systems, and home in general.
December has never been known as the time to start creating a new habit – that’s what January is for! But starting applying just a few of these quick tips, especially those involving your decorative lights and thermostat, can be a great way to reduce energy consumption and consequently reduce electrical bills – and we can all benefit from a bit of savings at this time of year too!