If you’re one of thousands of people in our area suddenly finding yourself at home with not quite enough to do, this is the perfect time to perform some home electrical maintenance. Of course, we don’t want you to run around re-wiring your home without a permit or license, but you’d be surprised at what you can do on your own. If you find some concerning electrical issues along the way, our technicians are available for phone and video diagnostics and help.
Simple DIY Home Improvement for Long-Term Benefit
Some of the simplest work items you can tackle will have long-term safety and cost benefits. Here are a few simple DIY electrical work and home improvements you can make while COVID-19 is keeping everyone in Pennsylvania home:
- Check your smoke detectors: If you haven’t changed the batteries yet this year, definitely start there. But while you’re at it, why not swap out to a whole new detector? The units themselves do actually expire and should be replaced about every 10 years. Now that your family is home so many more hours during the day, this one safety enhancement provides a vital layer of protection.
- Switch to LED Lightbulbs: Swapping incandescent lightbulbs for LED bulbs is another great DIY home improvement trick that is a small investment now with long-term savings. According to the government website, residential LED bulbs use only 25% of the energy that incandescent bulbs use, and they last far longer. They also throw off very little heat, which will become important as the temperatures begin to rise this spring.
- Keep it Clean: Another way to improve your electrical efficiency on your own is to clean up your act. Get out the brush attachment on your vacuum and clear the dust from the back of the fridge and the intake vents in your ductwork and heating or cooling units. Clean out your dryer exhaust and vents, and also run a cleansing solution or vinegar through your washing machine and dishwasher to clear out all the gunk buildup in those systems.
- Check Your Outlets and Power Strips: Do an outlet review throughout your house to see how you might be overloading your circuits. Are you using old power strips and extension cords that could be updated to more efficient products? Not sure? Call an electrician if you need advice on how to manage your high demand outlet areas, such as around the TV and WiFi router.
DIY Electrical Prep Work for Efficient Service
Many home electrical issues will always require a professional. When it comes to wiring and the internal components of your home’s electrical features, never try to do it yourself! We know you may be restless and looking for a spark of excitement during this difficult spring quarantine, but getting electrocuted or putting that updated smoke detector to the test is not the way to go about it.
What you should do on your own, though, is get acquainted with your electrical panel. This is a great family project. Station everyone in a different room while you hang out at the panel with a set of labels and a fine point marker. As you flip each breaker switch, your helpers will let you know exactly what happened. Now you can create a detailed label and attach it to the panel next to the switch. The next time you lose localized power, the process of finding the switch will be quick and painless. Also, when you do need to schedule service, you’ll have a better understanding of how your home’s wiring works together, which is a helpful step in identification and diagnosis of problems.
Simple Tips for Saving Energy
If you’re starting to worry about a high electric bill now that everyone in the house is plugged into something all the time, give some serious thought to what items can be disconnected. Unplug lights and alarm clocks in bedrooms that no one is using, unplug lamps that aren’t needed while we have more daylight, and unplug any small appliances that aren’t getting used right now, like space heaters, blenders, fans, mixers, air fryers, etc.
Remember that while the quarantine caused by the coronavirus is a great opportunity for DIY home maintenance and improvement, it’s not a good time for panic projects or large-scale undertakings where the availability of resources is not guaranteed. What you can buy today may not be an option tomorrow, and some parts just won’t be replaceable at this time. If you have any questions about whether or not a project you want to explore is a good idea, please reach out to a reliable electrician, and to get the right advice.