During the DFW Metroplex’s hot summer, most of us are far more concerned about our air conditioning systems than our electrical systems. However, many electrical problems can also occur during the summer. In fact, when the whole neighborhood is using their air conditioners at the same time, the electrical grid and your home’s electrical system can become stressed, possibly leading to blackouts, brownouts, electrical shocks and even fires!
Of course, it’s not just your air conditioning system that causes these problems, but it can be a major factor. In fact, heating and cooling can comprise nearly 30-50% of your electrical bill, generally putting the most stress on your electrical system. Your HVAC system is known as an “energy hog” but it’s certainly not the only one in your home.
Your HVAC system is known as an “energy hog” but it’s certainly not the only one in your home.
The following are suggestions for dealing with all energy hogs, and minimizing the stress on your electrical system:
- Keep air filters clean.
- Have regular preventative maintenance and tune-ups performed on your heating and air system.
- Raise the temperature in your home to the low 80s when you’re away.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat that will allow you to adjust your home’s temperature, no matter where you are.
- While we in the Metroplex can’t turn off our air conditioning system because of the extreme heat, try using other major energy hogs off during off-peak hours (meaning evenings), including washing machines, dryers, ovens, stoves and dishwashers.
- Recognize signs of electrical stress and safety hazards. These include lights flickering, electronics shutting off for no apparent reason, and circuits tripping. If any of these things happen, shut off your appliances and electronics devices. If issues continue, contact an A#1 Air certified electrician.
- Ensure that your family is not using too many appliances and gadgets at once. Lighting can account for up to 12% of your electric bill, and electronic devices, up to 10-15%. Unplug all electronic devices or plug them into a power strip when not in use.
- Use caution! Continually check for hazards such as frayed or cracked electrical cords and overloaded outlets and circuits. Make sure that you’re using light bulbs with the correct wattage in lamps and light fixtures.
- Ensure that your smoke alarms are functioning properly.
- Make sure that your refrigerator’s seals are clean and tight. Your refrigerator’s temperature should be at 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit and your freezer at 0-5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use your outdoor grill instead of your stovetop or oven as much as possible during the hot summer months.
- Set water heater temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Properly insulate your tank.
- Take showers instead of baths to help conserve both water and energy.
- Make sure you have adequate insulation and air sealing. Outer walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceiling are known as your thermal envelope.
- Update outdoor lighting to more modern technology such as motion sensors, timers and photocells for sensing daylight. CFL and LED bulb technology can save you money on your electricity bills, as well as increase your home’s security.
Consider an electrical inspection or whole home safety inspection, especially if you live in an older home. We have ongoing, highly affordable specials. An A#1 Air certified electrician can alert you to potential safety hazards and give you suggestions for improvements. Call us now for details.