It may not have felt like it much in these past couple of weeks, but spring is just around the corner. And as you are straightening closets and washing windows, it’s equally as important to be maintaining the electrical components around your home. Both inside the house and around your property, we’ve got a few suggestions for things you should be working on this spring.
- Outdoor projects: Don’t dig without identifying underground lines. It’s essential to dial Iowa OneCall 48 hours before you start any building or renovation projects that require excavation, but many times a professional is needed to come on your private property and help mark additional lines into your home and around the property. Never begin any excavating or digging without knowing for certain where underground wires may lie. This includes projects like building additions to your home, pouring a driveway, landscaping, installing a fence, planting shrubs or trees, etc.
- In the kitchen: Clean your stove’s exhaust hood. Sometimes it’s easy to look past the surfaces and objects we encounter day in and day out without taking a second glance at their true condition. Take for example your hood over your kitchen range. After several months of indoor cooking, grease, dirt, and dust particles can build up on and create a fire hazard both on the surfaces you see – and in the duct work you don’t. Take an extra moment this spring to wipe down and degrease the surfaces in and around your stove hood, and if it’s been awhile since your last cleaning, consider hiring a professional kitchen cleaning company.
- In the kitchen: vacuum underneath and behind your refrigerator. Oftentimes the spaces around larger appliances are neglected and can build up dirt and dust, leading your appliance to operate inefficiently and pull extra power. As with the stove hood mentioned above, spring is a good time to address these areas. Run an elongated dust wand underneath and down the sides of your refrigerator to remove excess dust,and take a little extra time to gently run a vacuum over the coils to keep them working in tip-top shape. PS: don’t forget those refrigerators in your garage or basement; they need attention too.
- Around the house: Make sure all countertop appliances are connected to GFCI receptacles. These receptacles are designed to keep your electricity grounded in the event of a malfunction such as water on an appliance, lightning strike, etc. In the event something like that were to occur, the GFCI actually shuts the receptacle off, preventing potential electrocutions or fire hazards. A kitchen, garage, bathroom, or other area where small appliance can come in contact with water are especially important to have these types of receptacles installed.
- Around the house: Examine power strips and surge protectors, check extension cords. When moving large furniture away from walls during your spring spruce-up, double-check that power strips aren’t being overloaded with too many items plugged in. Each surge protector or power strip can handle a specific amount, and it’s important not to exceed that limitation, or circuit overload can occur. Also check that extension cords aren’t powering high-voltage items that exceed their capacity, as this can lead to fire hazard. In addition, if you are using extension cords regularly for long-term power solutions, it may be time to find an alternative solution to your home’s power needs. Check with a professional electrician to have receptacles improved or added to your home to supply your increased needs.
- Around the house: Check for UL labels on electrical devices. These markers on electrical products ensure that they have been tested for safety and performed up to standards. While cleaning your home, make sure you can find these labels on your electrical appliances. For more information about UL labels and the purpose they serve, you can visit their site.
Across the U.S., the month of May which has been designated National Electrical Safety Month, so in addition to this spring cleaning checklist, we at McAllister Electric will continue sharing with you some quick ways to keep your home and office functioning safely and efficiently. Always remember there’s no job too big or small for our team, and if you are looking for help with your spring electrical check-ups, you can call our experienced professionals at 563-852-7484. We’d be happy to assist in any of the above services or do a complete inspection and safety check on your home’s system.