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Electrical System Maintenance Checklist - 10 Steps to Save Money

Cassidy Horton
An electrician fixing an air conditioner.
At first glance, electrical system maintenance may not seem like a pressing issue. However, if left unchecked, small electrical problems can quickly turn into costly repairs. By following this ten-step checklist, you can avoid big electrical bills and save up to $500 per year.

Your electrical system is one of the most important parts of your home. Not only does it provide power for all of your appliances, but it also helps to keep your home safe. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you invest in a high-quality home warranty and keep your electrical system well-maintained.

» Need help finding a home warranty? Check out our top picks for the best home warranty companies.

1. Use Energy-Efficient Products

Hands down, the easiest way to save big on electricity is by swapping out really old appliances with energy-efficient ones. This is because newer appliances rated as "Energy Star" use up to 50% less energy than their older counterparts. This can significantly help lower your electricity bill.

For example, an Energy Star water heater costs around $700 more than a standard version, according to EnergyStar.gov. However, it saves you $3,500 on average over the heater's lifespan. If the average water heater lasts 10 years, that's an automatic savings of $280 per year after deducting the initial upfront cost.

And this is just for one appliance! Imagine if you switched to energy-efficient light bulbs, windows, insulation, TVs, and smart thermostats. The savings would easily add up to $500 a year, if not more. Plus, many states and utility companies offer rebates for purchasing an energy-efficient appliance, which can help you save even more money in the long run.

2. Check Your Breakers

The next step in maintaining your electrical system is to check your breakers. Once a month, take a look at your breaker box and make sure all the breakers are switched to the “on” position. If any of the breakers have tripped, reset them and see if that fixes the problem.

If you have any breakers that keep tripping, it could signal that the circuit is overloaded. In this case, you'll want to have an electrician take a look to see if anything needs to be replaced. Neglecting this step could result in wires melting or a house fire, which could cost a fortune to repair.

» Use these eco-friendly tips to save electricity.

3. Test Your Outlets

Another easy way to maintain your electrical system is to test your outlets. Make sure that each home outlet provides power by plugging in a small appliance or lamp.

If an outlet is not working, reset the breaker associated with that outlet and see if that fixes the problem. If not, you may need to replace the outlet itself.

4. Inspect Your Wiring

Inspecting your wiring is another crucial step in maintaining your electrical system. Look for any signs of damage, such as frayed wires or exposed insulation.

If you find any damage, call an electrician right away to have the problem fixed. Ignoring damaged wiring can be extremely dangerous and lead to serious fires or electrocution.

» Keep an eye out for these fire hazards to protect yourself and your family.

5. Clean Your Switches and Outlets

Over time, dirt and dust can build up on your switches and outlets, causing them to become less effective.

To clean them, simply wipe them down with a damp cloth once a month. This will help ensure that they are able to conduct electricity properly.

6. Inspect Extension Cords for Cracks or Fraying

Damaged cords are one of many common electrical hazards. Each year, faulty extension cords cause thousands of fires and shocks.

Inspect all the cords in your home monthly, looking for any cracks or frays in the cord insulation. If you find any damage, unplug the cord and throw it away. Do not try to repair it.

» Are you a new homeowner? You should master these essential home maintenance skills.

7. Check Smoke Alarms

One of the most important things you can do to maintain your electrical system is to check smoke alarms. At least once a month, test each smoke alarm in your home by pressing the “test” button.

If the alarm does not sound, replace the batteries and test again. If it still does not work, call an electrician right away. Working smoke alarms can save your life in the event of a fire, which is a common hazard that could result from poor electrical system maintenance.

8. Check Your Appliances

Faulty appliances can also be a fire hazard. If you have any appliances that are not working, you should have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible. If you have a home warranty plan, be sure to check with your provider to see if any of these items are covered.

Another easy way to save money and energy is to unplug appliances when you’re not using them. Even if an appliance is turned off, it can still use electricity if plugged into an outlet. Make sure to unplug TVs, computers, coffee makers, etc., when you’re not using them.

According to Energy.gov, you can save up to 25% on your electricity bill each year just by unplugging appliances, air-drying clothes, and taking shorter showers. You can also save money by plugging multiple appliances into a single power strip and turning it off when you’re not using any of them.

» Learn how to increase the life span of your household appliances.

9. Have Your Electrical System Inspected Regularly

Homeowners often overlook their home's electrical system, thinking everything is fine as long as the lights turn on and the appliances run. However, ignoring potential issues can end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.

The best way to maintain your electrical system is to have it inspected by a professional on a regular basis. Depending on the size and age of your home, having it inspected once or twice a year should suffice. An electrician can identify any potential problems and fix them before they become major issues.

10. Call an Electrician the Moment You Experience Any Problems

This should go without saying, but you should know how to spot electrical problems, including flickering lights, sparks, and burnt-out outlets.

Call an electrician immediately to prevent further damage if you spot any of these issues. The last thing you want is for your home to catch on fire or for someone to get electrocuted.

» Are you a new homeowner? Save 20% in your first year using these tips.

Take Away

By following these steps, you can rest assured that your electrical system is in good working order and that you are doing everything possible to prevent costly corrective maintenance bills from piling up.

Remember, being proactive is key to maintaining a safe and efficient home. If you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to contact a professional electrician.

And don’t forget to invest in the best home warranty for HVACs to avoid potentially costly repairs. With a quality plan from a company like First American Home Warranty or Cinch Home Services, you have peace of mind knowing that you’ll be covered if something goes wrong with your home’s electrical system.

» Not convinces? Check out these reasons why you need a home warranty plan.

Cassidy Horton
Cassidy Horton is a seasoned writer and content strategist with over seven years of experience in managing successful communications campaigns. Leveraging her expertise in the field, she has transitioned to a full-time writing role, where her insightful articles and engaging content have been featured in numerous esteemed publications, including writing for top10.com.