Residential Electrical Services Homeowners Checklist
If you own a home, you’re going to experience an electrical problem at some point. It’s something to consider because electricity is probably the most critical component of your home. Whether it’s a malfunctioning light switch, circuit breakers that are tripping, or excessively high electric bills, a visit from a residential electrical services expert might be warranted.
The key is to say ahead of the game and identify those electrical problems before they become a nuisance or even dangerous. Our checklist includes important tips every Houston homeowner should be aware of.
Common Electrical Problems in the Home
Like nearly everything else, electrical components and hardware break down or become problematic. Here are a couple of the most common issues homeowners see.
Malfunctioning Light Switches
Any hardware or electrical part can disintegrate over time. Some of the problems they cause can be minor or more serious, but when it comes to residential electrical issues, you just don’t want to take a calculated risk.
Light switches are an instrumental part of your home’s electrical system. After all, how else would you operate in your home without adequate lighting? Ceiling fans are also a must in Houston’s warm and muggy summers!
Most of the time, when a light switch ceases to function, it’s a short circuit that causes it. That occurs when two hot wires contact each other, or a neutral white wire touches a hot wire. Either way, if you begin to notice a problem with your light switch, it’s best to leave it to a professional electrician to evaluate it and service your home’s electrical system.
Avoid tinkering with it yourself. Electricity is dangerous business!
Tripping Circuit Breakers
We’ve all experienced the frustration of our circuit breaker tripping out of the blue. It always seems to happen when we are in the midst of relying on a functioning electrical appliance, like when we operate a small electric heater during the winter or are washing a load of laundry.
When a circuit breaker trips, it’s usually because of a circuit overload. That happens when we have too many high-powered devices or appliances running simultaneously on the same circuit. It may even occur when you simply run a toaster at the same time as the dishwasher. But it’s not really a good sign when it happens.
As a homeowner, you want to prevent this from happening again because it means part of your electrical system is inadequate, and you likely need to have an electrician add more circuits for your home.
Once an electrician is over at your home to evaluate the problem, they will likely test your existing circuits. This will help them determine how much power your current circuits can safely handle and make recommendations for additional circuits. How many circuits you’ll need to add will depend on your home’s needs to operate appliances and devices safely and efficiently.
Preventing Electrical Fires in Your Home
The scariest scenario for a homeowner is an electrical fire that puts your family’s lives at risk, as well as the integrity of your home.
According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, electrical fires in the home account for 51,000 fires each year, leading to $1.3 billion in property damage and 500 deaths.
You undoubtedly want to prevent the risk of an electrical fire occurring in your home. These tips might help.
Prevent an Overload of Your Home’s Outlets
The problem of overloading any of your home’s outlets is that it can trip your home’s circuit breaker or cause a fire. Avoid having too many high-powered appliances plugged into one outlet.
You’ll also want to ensure that there aren’t too many appliances plugged into multiple outlets that may be on the same circuit.
The only way to really know for sure if this is the case is to have an electrician inspect your electrical box to determine if more circuits are needed or if your electrical system needs other servicing. They may also decide that adding more outlets to an existing circuit may solve the problem.
Have a Qualified Electrician Inspect Your System
An annual inspection of your home’s electrical system is always a wise idea. A licensed electrician is qualified to evaluate your central electrical service system and determine if you have sufficient surge protection.
While they are there, it’s prudent to discuss any potential issues you’ve noticed and get their opinion. You may also want to do your own due diligence and inspect all of your device’s cords for signs of wear and fraying. Worn cords are also a potential fire hazard.
The good thing about an inspection of your electrical system is that it’ll assure you that you and your family are safe. If the electrician finds anything amiss, it can be addressed and taken care of.
Causes of High Electric Bills
High electric bills are another common problem many Texas homeowners deal with. With our sweltering summers, it’s no wonder. And if your home is all-electric, even your winter bills may be higher than you want to deal with.
But, you may also have a time when you receive a higher-than-average electricity bill, or something out of the ordinary. You may even get a high bill at a time when you’ve worked really hard to conserve electricity and have kept power usage to a minimum.
While it’s true that the simple answer may be that the electric company has raised their rates, there’s a chance that something simple within your control is causing higher electric bills. Here are a couple of common examples.
Incandescent Light Bulbs
Many homeowners today have switched to LED bulbs to help cut electricity costs and conserve energy. But, some homes still have incandescent bulbs in their light fixtures. Incandescent light bulbs use more energy than LED bulbs.
For that reason, you may want to consider switching to LED bulbs. Once you do, you may notice that they even illuminate better than incandescent bulbs. They also have a longer lifespan than incandescent bulbs, so you’ll be spending less money on LED bulbs because you won’t have to switch them out as much.
Most of all, you should have a noticeable difference in your electric bills each month.
Leaving Phone Chargers Plugged In
Many of us are guilty of it. Today’s modern homes have outlets within reach of every room. Because our world revolves around technology and staying connected, we use our cell phones often, meaning we also charge them frequently.
But some of us tend to leave our phone chargers plugged in, even when we’re not charging our phones. Many of us have added those nifty little outlets equipped with a built-in USB port for even more convenience.
The only problem with that is if we keep our phone cables plugged in all the time, they’re drawing power. It can contribute to a significant portion of your electricity bill.
It’s a good idea to make it a habit to unplug any unused chargers or cables to prevent excess charges in your electricity bill.
Houston Residential Electrical Services for Your Home
Illuminations Lighting Design has qualified and licensed electricians on staff to see to your home’s residential electrical service needs. We’ve serviced residential clients all over the Greater Houston area and beyond since 2004. Our team of superheroes is ready to serve you!
Contact us at (713) 863-1133 or submit a service request online to schedule an inspection of your residential electrical system.