Electrical Safety & Conservation Tips

Summer Tips

  • Consider window fans, ceiling fans or whole-house fans, which use much less power, as an alternative to air conditioners.
  • Close your blinds, shades or draperies during the hottest part of the day.
  • Shut off your air conditioner if you leave home for an extended period of time.
  • Air conditioners work to remove humidity, so reserve moisture-making jobs such as dishwashing, laundry and bathing for either early morning or at night when it’s cooler
  • Shade the outdoor air conditioning unit if possible. A unit in the sun will use up to 5 percent more energy than one in the shade.
  • Clean or replace the central air-conditioning filter monthly. Clean the filter in window units as well. It’s behind the front panel.
  • Install energy-efficient LED bulbs. They give off less heat and use as much as 75 percent less energy than regular bulbs.

Winter Tips – Windows and Doors

  • Repair broken or cracked glass and putty older windows; check to see that windows close properly and window locks pull sashes together.
  • Make sure doors close properly; repair or replace non-working doorknobs, latches and striker plates.
  • Weatherstrip windows, doors and attic accesses; caulk the frames around windows and doors from the inside using a clear, pliable caulk.

Winter Tips – Other Air Leaks

  • If you have a fireplace, be sure it is fitted with a tight sealing damper that is closed when the fireplace is not in use. If the fireplace is used infrequently, use a chimney block to eliminate heat loss.
  • Caulk foundation cracks and openings. Make sure kitchen and bathroom vent dampers close properly.
  • Install automatic setback thermostats that adjust the heat to your schedule.
  • Insulate attics (especially attics with less than seven inches of insulation), walls, and flooring over unheated crawl spaces or basements.
  • Install exterior storm windows, including cellar storm windows. For windows that are rarely opened, consider installing interior storm windows.
  • Replace standard curtains with tight sealing, insulated or quilted window coverings.

Indoor Electric Safety

  • When using appliances and power tools, read and follow all manufacturers instructions.
  • Never overload a circuit. Large appliances need separate circuits.
  • Replace worn plugs, wires, or extension cords.
  • Never run cords under rugs or over heaters.
  • Avoid using or storing appliances near water.
  • Childproof outlets with safety covers. Teach children electrical safety.
  • Never leave small children unattended near electric appliances, lamps, fans, heaters, or motors.
  • Install ground fault interrupt (GFI) outlets near sinks and outdoors.

Outdoor Electric Safety

  • Keep away from power lines. This includes ladders, kites, balloons, antennas, kids, and yourself.
  • Any time you dig, call Dig Safe at 1-888-DIG-SAFE (www.digsafe.com) to locate underground utilities. The service is free.
  • If a tree has power lines running through it, call the light department. Do not attempt to trim the tree yourself.
  • Leave downed wires alone. Never attempt to move anyone in contact with a live wire. Call for help immediately.