Winter is full of exciting opportunities that you usually only enjoy during the holiday season. You get to enjoy a beautiful tree inside your home, and you get to experience the cozy atmosphere of a heated home after a day of holiday shopping. But you need to be set up correctly to enjoy them in a safe and cost-effective way. Rawhide Electric Services is here to help you find the best ways to hang your lights and heat your home during the chilly months surrounding the holiday season, so here are a few tips to help you stay safe and enjoy the time without spending as much money.
Decorate With Caution
Holiday decorations are fun and festive but they can be a real hazard when installed incorrectly. Follow these tips to ensure your safety.
Examine string lights before putting them up. If you see exposed copper wire, seal the wire with electrical tape, or better yet, retire the lights. They’re likely past their prime.
Choose a tree with green, supple needles. If the tree that you buy already is starting to dry out, it can become a fire hazard when the heat from the lights touch the dry needles. You should also water your tree regularly to ensure that the tree stays hydrated.
Check the label on the lights to determine if they’re intended for inside or outside use. Outdoor lights often put out more heat, which can become dangerous indoors with the warmer temperatures.
Ensure that you're not overloading your sockets. Christmas lights can take up a lot of energy, so you don't want to overload a surge protector. More than likely, you'll just trip the breaker, but it's an inconvenience and a potential fire hazard to have electrical outlets that get too hot because they're being overused.
Finally, inspect the outlet that you're plugging your lights into. One of the most obvious signs of faulty wiring underneath is a brown singe around the outlet. Outlets that are damaged should be inspected and replaced by an electrician before you use them for anything again.
Heat Your Home Efficiently
This is the time of year you'll also notice your energy bill rising if you're not careful about how you’re heating your house. Here’s how to slash costs while staying comfortable.
Set your thermostat 68 degrees. This is the recommended setting for energy savings. If that’s a touch chilly for you, wear warm, comfy clothing, cuddle up with a throw blanket and a warm cup of coffee or tea.
Program your thermostat to raise the temperature shortly before you typically come home at night or wake up in the morning.
Insulate and seal areas to prevent heat loss. For instance, make sure that your weather stripping around doors and windows is in good condition. Also, if you notice that one room in the house gets colder more quickly than the others, check your insulation to ensure that you have enough of it in the attic. Some other ways to reduce the amount of lost heat is to make sure that furniture isn't blocking vents and to do furnace maintenance to ensure that it's working properly.
There are many ways that the holidays bring a lot of joy, and you can maximize your enjoyment of the season by ensuring that your home is ready for the decorations and colder temperatures. If you need help getting your HVAC system or electrical system ready for the season, contact Rawhide Electrical Services at (360) 382-1180.