Time: 1-2 hours
Tripped breakers, short circuits, and scary sparks â€” definitely not things you want for your homeâ€™s electrical. Keep your circuits in tip-top condition to prevent house fires. Bonus: youâ€™ll save energy AND money on your electrical bills.
Whatâ€™s In It For You?
- Increased electrical safety for your home
- Cheaper electricity bills
Keep Your Circuits in Tip-Top Condition to Prevent House Fires
Test your outlets. Head over to your local hardware store and grab a three-prong electrical receptacle tester. Plug it into your outlets one-by-one to test them â€” especially in wet places like bathrooms and kitchens. The clearly labeled prong lights will tell you if there are any electrical malfunctions. If you find anything wrong, call a professional immediately. Malfunctioning outlets can be a serious fire risk. Safety first, people.
Shuffle your large appliances. The key here is to not overburden a single circuit â€” rearrange large appliances so each has a dedicated outlet. Power-hungry appliances plugged into a single circuit can cause your breakers to trip and even damage your internal wiring. Weâ€™re looking at you, HVAC units and fridges.
Use shorter extension cords. We get it â€” the corner across the room from your outlet is the perfect spot for your TV. But before you get an extra-long extension cord to make it work, consider that electrical currents have a hard time traveling long distances. That means overheating. Not good. Stay safe by replacing longer cords with 25 foot, 14-gauge cords. Hint: Thicker cords help disperse heat so if you absolutely must get a longer cord, get one thatâ€™s thicker as well.
Match your appliance amperages to your outlets. Are sparks flying? Appliances overheating? Your appliance amperages are probably too high for your circuit. (Hint: An amperage rating is the maximum amount of electrical current your circuit can safely carry without short-circuiting.) Check the amp ratings on your appliances to make sure they match the ratings of your outlets. They donâ€™t match? The easiest solution is to buy a transformer. No overloaded circuits here.
Use the right light bulbs. Stay away from high-wattage light bulbs â€” they burn out faster, increase your homeâ€™s energy usage and cause short-circuits. Instead, choose ones with a wattage that matches the amperage of your outlets.
Pro tip: Install energy-efficient LED or fluorescent light bulbs to save energy and reduce the risk of overloading your circuits.