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New Year's Electrical Resolutions

Have you already made your New Year’s resolutions, Houston? Well, Universal would like to add a few more to your list. This year we are including home electrical resolutions – to ensure a safe and energy-efficient New Year. In addition to eating healthier, exercising more and getting that promotion, you might consider adding these home improvement resolutions to your list.

Schedule a Home Electrical Inspection

Start the year off with a professional electrical inspection. Have your electrical system professionally inspected to ensure potential problems are diagnosed before they become costly repairs. An inspection will also catch potentially hazardous situations including frayed or inadequately installed wiring.

Reduce Energy Consumption

This year make a concerted effort to reduce your energy consumption. Invest in power strips to reduce your plug load, always unplug idle electronics (including chargers) to eliminate standby power and turn off all the lights when you go to bed. Also, go through your house and change out all the incandescent lights with LED bulbs. LEDs use 75% less energy than incandescents and last about 25 times longer.

Check Smoke and CO2 Alarms

Make sure that your household is safe from fire and carbon dioxide poisoning by checking the batteries. What? Your home has no smoke or CO2 alarms? Your first purchase for the New Year should be alarms for every floor (minimum) and every room (ideal). December through March are the peak months for home fire fatalities, so now is a good time to install them.

Replace Old Appliances

If you have an older appliance in your home that you’ve been considering replacing, make it a priority to do so in the New Year. If the appliance is more than a decade old, replacing it with a new, energy-efficient model can greatly reduce energy consumption.

What Appliances are Worth Upgrading?

Install Tamper-Resistant Receptacles

If you have toddlers or young children, installing tamper-resistant receptacles are a good way to keep them safe. These electrical outlet designs have spring-loaded shutters over the slots that won’t open unless pressure is applied to both at the same time. They require less oversight than child safety covers, which need to be unplugged before the outlet can be used.

Clearly Label Fuses and Circuit Breakers

This is a very practical resolution – and can be achieved quickly if you have two people working on it together. If the fuses in your fuse box are not clearly labeled, spend some time investigating which fuses/breakers control which areas of the house. This is important information to have if anything goes wrong with a fuse or the wiring in your home. The easiest method for doing this (also referred to as “mapping circuits”) is to simply turn off a breaker at a time and record the areas affected. You can also purchase a circuit breaker tracer from a hardware store to aid in mapping your home’s electrical system.

Top 10 Circuit Breaker Locators

Get Rid of Incandescent Bulbs

Make this the year that you get rid of your incandescent lighting. LED Energy Star qualified bulbs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they use 75% less energy – and last 35 to 50 times longer. Spend the day changing out older bulbs – and keep several new CFL and LED bulbs on hand for efficient replacements when needed.

A Guide to Understanding Modern Light Bulbs

Install a Whole-House Surge Protector

Does your home experience frequent electrical surges? Are you prone to surges during electrical storms? Your electrical appliances and devices can be slowly compromised through those surges – affecting both the performance and lifespan. This year, consider installing a whole-house surge protector which only allows in the electricity that your home needs – and blocks any over-voltage. It also protects appliances from surges that are created inside your home.

Protection Against Electrical Surges

Embrace the New Year with a plan for smarter, safer energy usage in your home. If you need help with the next steps, feel free to give Universal a call. We can assist with an electrical inspection, surge protector installation or any other electrical need you might have. Contact us today at(713) 364-0226 or online to schedule an appointment.