Spring Electrical Tasks for the Homeowner


One would think that with the cold weather behind us, most of the household hazards we face would be put away in the closet with the space heater. But, other electrical appliances still need our attention. Electricians see a lot of the effects from lack of maintenance. Most of this dirt buildup isn’t the result of not having a clean house, they’re a kind of ‘specialty gunk’. So, it’s nice to have these jobs done when it’s still cool because these tasks will save you money on your summer electric bill. Let’s get started!

Switch the switch on your ceiling fan

It’s time to change the direction of the ceiling fan, so it goes in a counterclockwise direction for summer (from the floor looking up). First, turn off the fan. If the switch is in a place where someone might accidentally turn it on while you’re working on it, put a piece of tape over the switch before you begin working. Grab a ladder, a cleaning product (depending on your fan) and an old pillowcase. While you’re up there switching the direction of the fan (the switch is usually on the side of the base), spritz a little cleaner on the pillowcase or fan blade. Then slide the pillowcase over the fan blade and then wipe the fabric on the inside of the case along the blade to wipe the dust off and trap it in the pillowcase. Repeat for each edge as needed. Then take that pillowcase outside and shake it out. 


Clean out your dryer vent

This little activity can prevent a fire. Unplug the dryer. If it’s gas, you have to shut off the gas. Pull the dryer out from the wall and disconnect the clamp from the hose. Using a dryer vent brush or vacuum hose, clean out the hole in the dryer and high up as you can reach. Do the same with the hose you disconnected. After you reconnect the hose, go outside, remove the flap casing from the wall, and clean up in that hole with the brush and vacuum, too. Then reattach it. When you move the dryer back to the wall, do NOT crush the dryer vent. Please. 

Don’t forget to give your lint trap a good cleaning. Use hot, sudsy water and a toothbrush if you use dryer sheets because the material from them tends to clog the mesh of the dryer lint trap. Make sure it’s completely dry before you put it back into the dryer. 

Clean the refrigerator coils

Slide the refrigerator away from the wall and unplug it. Is it unplugged? Unplug it. Some refrigerators have the condenser coils on the back (older models). Newer models have the coils at the bottom of the refrigerator. You may have to remove the grill. If there is a condenser pan (which may or may not have water in it), empty it. The coils should be treated gently. If you damage one, you’re going to be feeding your refrigerator repairman’s family for a week. Use a refrigerator condenser coil brush (Big box store, about $5) and a vacuum.  Don’t forget to plug the refrigerator back in when you’re finished.

Finally, take a moment to replace your HVAC filter and test each of your GFCI's.

If any of the GFCI's aren't working, call an electrician to have those replaced. 

While these tasks are somewhat tedious, they will save you money on your electrical bill and may prevent a bad shock or fire.

If you need a highly-reviewed, licensed electrician in the Phoenix Valley area, call Efficient Electric at 623-900-1461

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