We can sometimes take electricity for granted. We flick a switch, and our home is warm, lit, and our favourite appliances run smoothly.
Electricity can be costly and dangerous, though, which is why Energy Matters has assembled these tips so you can better manage electricity in your home.
Act quickly on any damage
If you see any frayed or damaged cords or cracked or broken outlets, they need to be looked at by a licenced electrician as quickly as possible. Do not use these appliances or outlets as they could be a risk to you, your family and your pets.
Turn off all of your appliances completely
It is estimated that 10 per cent of your home’s electricity consumption goes to standby power. Standby power can be defined as the total amount of wattage used by all electronic devices plugged in but not actively used (e.g., a television, computer or stereo system). This number can be staggering, and it is essential to know how much you’re wasting on unnecessary electric costs.
Don’t let your appliances get dusty
Dusting is one of those chores that you don’t want to do, but you know it’s important. It may not seem like a big deal if your refrigerator or dishwasher has some dust on it, but the truth is that neglecting these appliances can cause serious problems like reduced efficiency and fire hazards.
The dust that builds up on your appliances is filled with bacteria, which over time will spread to other surfaces in your home. This buildup also prevents air from circulating properly through your HVAC system, leading to higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on all components within the system.
Repair any water leaks quickly
Water leaks are a common problem in many homes. When water leaks into your walls, it can cause damage to the electrical sockets and appliances plugged into them.
If you have a leaky tap, toilet or pipe, or if there’s any sign of water damage on any part of your home, get it fixed immediately. It might be tempting to put off getting repairs done because they’re expensive, but doing so could result in much more costly problems down the road if an appliance catches fire due to a short circuit caused by water damage.
Give your appliances some space
Many of your household appliances emit air, so don’t stack them too close together, or this air will not vent properly. This will lead to reduced efficiency and also heat buildups which can cause appliances to fail prematurely.
Understand how your switchboard works
What happens if you don’t know how your switchboard works? What if you try and switch off the wrong circuit in an emergency? This could lead to more damage, risk of injury or even death.
Switchboards can be tricky, and it’s easy to get them wrong. If you don’t understand the difference between a circuit breaker and a fuse box, or if you don’t know what the fuses are for, then any electrical problems in your home could cause serious damage.
Dial Before You Dig
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed by digging into a buried power line. Dial Before You Dig is the most accessible and most affordable way to protect your family from underground utility lines.
It allows you to search for nearby utility lines quickly and easily online, via mobile app, or over the phone with a live operator. So whether you’re planning on digging in your yard or hiring someone else to do it for you, Dial Before You Dig makes sure that everyone has access to this critical information so they can stay safe while working around utilities.
Never attempt to DIY electrical work
If you’re not a qualified electrician, it can be tempting to do your own electrical work, but this isn’t always the best idea.
Instead of trying to DIY any electrical work, hire an electrician who has all the right tools and equipment to ensure that everything is done correctly. This may seem like an unnecessary expense now. Still, it will save you time and money in the long run by avoiding potential problems with insurance claims down the line due to faulty wiring or other issues caused by improper installation of appliances or light fixtures.
Install solar panels
The cost of installing solar panels is dropping like a rock, and now is the perfect time to get started with this green technology.
Energy Matters will help you navigate the process of choosing which solar panel system is right for you, which rebates are available, and we can offer three free no-obligation quotes from local installers.
We’ve made it easy for you with our free online solar calculator. It will tell you exactly how much energy your house uses each month and what size of the solar system you need to power your home entirely on solar—no more guessing or estimates.