Despite its many benefits, electricity is potentially dangerous. Specifically, if it’s not properly managed, it can injure or kill people and animals, and cause property damage. For instance, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical malfunctions cause about 4,000 non-fatal injuries in the US every year. Common electrical hazards include, among others, burns, fires and explosions, electrocutions, and electric shocks. One way to protect your home from these hazards is to schedule professional electrical inspections on a regular basis. In fact, experts recommend doing this every three to five years, depending on the age of your home. Keeping this in mind, here are seven reasons to do home electrical inspections according to Shuttle Electrics.
Moving into an Older Home
Although the ideal period for inspecting a new home is 10 years, older homes may need more frequent inspections, say, every three to five years. This is because, in older homes, the wiring systems could be damaged due to wear and tear. Moreover, older homes usually have outdated electrical systems such as the knob-and-tube wiring, which is typically risky and incompatible with modern appliances, as per the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI). With this in mind, it is prudent to have an expert inspect your electrical systems and put them in order before you move into an older home.
An Unexplained Increase in Your Energy Costs
Several factors could cause your energy costs to increase. For instance, increasing the number of electrical appliances in your home or running such appliances longer would likely lead to higher energy bills. However, if your electricity consumption increases without a clear reason, it could be an indication that your electrical network has a problem. To be certain, you should hire a qualified electrician to conduct an energy audit of your home. Then, you can use the results of the audit to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Selling Your Home
When selling your home, you probably want to get as much money from it as you can. You can achieve this by increasing your home value. Specifically, conducting renovations and home inspections are some of the surefire ways of increasing the value of your home value. Typically, a high-value home will likely attract more buyers, increasing your bargaining power. Therefore, you should hire an experienced electrical contractor to inspect your electrical systems before putting your home on the market.
You may have had your home inspected just recently, but if you notice lights flickering or dimming, you should consider scheduling another inspection. Usually, flickering or dimming lights are indications of loose connections, which are potential fire hazards. Old, faulty, and incompatible bulbs can also flicker or dim. Additionally, lights can flicker if you switch on heavy electrical appliances such as washing machines, which require large amounts of current to start. To determine the actual cause of the flickering and dimming, hire a certified electrician to inspect your home’s electrical system, and carry out any necessary repairs.
Sockets and Switches Heating Up
Your sockets, switches, and plugs should not overheat when in use. If your electrical outlets get too hot when in use, it may be an indication of an overload, loose connections, or damaged wiring. Hot electrical outlets are potential fire and burn hazards. If your sockets and switches feel hotter than normal, avoid using them until a certified electrician inspects your electrical system.
A Burning Smell
Loose connections can cause an electrical outlet to spark (short circuit). If the sparking lasts for more than a second, you will notice a burning smell of wires or plastic. If left unattended, the small sparks can turn into an inferno. To avoid such a situation, you should switch off your home’s power immediately you notice the sparking, and then get a qualified electrician to investigate the problem.
Following a Natural Disaster
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides, and hurricanes can cause damage to electrical systems. For instance, earth movement can damage your home’s electrical system, or even relocate electrical wires. If your house survives such disasters, you should hire a building contractor to check its structural integrity, as well as a professional electrician to inspect and fix any problems in your home’s electrical system.
These are some of the reasons to do home electrical inspections. Take note that home electrical inspection can also lower your homeowner’s insurance costs because you can use the results of such an inspection to create risk management strategies. Therefore, ensure you hire a qualified electrical contractor to conduct such an inspection.