Fall invokes feelings of comfort, bringing with it shorter days and cooling temperatures, along with changing leaves that make for stunning vistas. The season also reintroduces the inviting aroma of pumpkin spice, hearty and warming dinner recipes, and the opportunity to wear cozy sweaters. It is also the perfect time to maintain your home by completing essential interior and exterior maintenance tasks, including contacting a certified electrician to ensure your electrical system is performing optimally, preventing the potential for issues before the chill of winter.
Essential Maintenance Tasks
According to ENERGY STAR, the EPA estimates that homeowners can save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling costs by taking measures to prevent the transfer of conditioned and unconditioned air around your windows and doors, such as caulking and weatherstripping. In addition to reducing heating and cooling costs, this is one of the best, most cost-effective ways to ensure continuously comfortable temperatures and promote good indoor air quality.
Test Smoke Alarms Monthly
The National Fire Protection Agency reports that, between 2014 and 2018, U.S. fire departments responded to more than 350,000 residential structure fires each year. Most of these fires resulted from cooking, heating, electrical distribution, and other reported causes. The NFPA adds that the risk of injuries is significantly lower in homes with working smoke alarms, whether hardwired or battery-operated, and stress the importance of testing them monthly and replacing them every ten years. For further assistance, please contact A&H Electric.
Test Other Critical Safety Devices
In addition to the smoke alarms, no house should be without arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs), which can help prevent hazardous arc-faults. The NFPA reports that electrical failures and malfunctions involving arcing were the second leading cause of U.S. home fires between 2012 and 2016. These safety devices are required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) and must be professionally installed by a certified electrician and routinely tested to ensure that they are correctly working.
You should also routinely test ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), also required by the NEC, designed to help prevent electrical shock by shutting off electrical power in the event of a hazardous condition known as a ground fault. A certified electrician should install GFCIs in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas where moisture is a concern.
Another safety device that provides lifesaving measures, particularly in homes with gas, is carbon monoxide detectors. These devices are designed to detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide – a colorless, odorless, and toxic gas – and are one of the best ways to prevent CO poisoning. Like other vital safety devices, these should be routinely tested, and the batteries replaced each fall and spring per the CDC.
Clean the Gutters
The gutters protect your home from water damage by catching rainwater and directing it away from the house’s roof and foundation. The system should be checked semi-annually, once in the fall and again in the spring, for signs of unusual wear and tear or damage. They should also be cleaned during this time. You will want to scoop out any debris to clean them, then flush the system using a garden hose. You can either do this yourself, taking necessary precautions to ensure safety, or hire someone.
Check All Outdoor Electrical Fixtures
Electrical fixtures must be rated for outdoor use, as they are subject to Texas’s weather conditions 365-days a year and routinely checked for unusual wear and tear signs. That includes but is not limited to whole-house generators, outlets, lighting fixtures, and ceiling fans. Any appliances should also be checked to ensure they are optimally working if you have an outdoor kitchen. If you suspect any electrical issues, it is best to contact a certified electrician to inspect and repair them.
Contact a Certified Electrician Today
With over thirty years of experience in Montgomery County, TX, A&H Electric Co. is your local licensed electrical service, repair, and installation company. We offer a suite of commercial and residential electrical services, including but not limited to safety inspections and system upgrades, complete with rewiring. Additional services include electrical maintenance, new construction, AFCI installation, and electrical grounding.
Our electrical contractors can troubleshoot, repair, service, or install your electrical system Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. We are also proud to provide 24-hour emergency repair for those times when the unexpected happens. To schedule an electrical service appointment with a licensed, certified electrician, please give A&H Electric a call at (936) 756-0442 today.
“Air Sealing Your Home.” U.S. Department of Energy.
“Autumnal Equinox 2021: The First Day of Fall.” The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
“Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Prevention Guidance.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“CPSC Fact Sheet: What is a GFCI?” U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
“Home Electrical Fires.” National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“Home Structure Fires.” National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
“Maintaining Your Air Conditioner.” U.S. Department of Energy.
“What is a HEPA filter? United States Department of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Why Seal and Insulate?” ENERGY STAR.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in August 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.