- Smoke detectors are supposed to be replaced every 10 years…dust causes the optics to malfunction
-GFI protection against electric shock saves lives…four years ago, I crawled from beneath a house holding a work light and touched a water pipe for balance; were it not for the GFI that the work light was plugged into, I could have received a severe electrical shock… recently, children in California were shocked into unconsciousness in a swimming pool that was not properly protected. If you have standard outlets in your kitchen near the sink, the bathroom(s) or a pool that is not protected by a ground fault interrupter outlet or circuit breaker, a homeowner should consider changing these outlets to GFI type outlets.
-Attic ventilation saves money…it helps to prevent overheating of occupied rooms and overtaxing the Air Conditioning equipment
-Surge protectors can save home and office appliances…they may save electronic equipment such as computers, microwaves, some ranges, alarm systems, TV’s, etc. from devastating surges due to lightning strikes, power company equipment failure, tree limbs crossing wires and others. Whole house surge protection does protect circuits within the home, however electronic equipment is quite sensitive to power surges and the homeowner should double the protection on important electronic equipment by adding a surge protector inline at the outlet to which the equipment is attached. These can be purchased at any home/electronic equipment store and should specify that it is a “surge protector” on the packaging. In addition, most computer battery back ups (known as Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS) have surge protection as a built-in feature .
-LED lighting saves money… the wattage used by LED lighting is significantly less than that used by a comparable incandescent bulb. In addition, LED replacements often last many, many times longer than standard bulbs resulting in labor and replacement cost savings
-Aluminum wiring, if properly installed, will provide long lasting and safe service. Many years ago, when whole houses were wired with aluminum wiring, the installation practices did not anticipate the oxidation and resultant heating that occurs with aluminum wiring when installed using installation practices that were standard for copper house wiring. While aluminum wiring is no longer used to run branch circuits, as a result of years more experience with this issue of oxidation and heating, there are special devices and practices that are used for old aluminum wiring installations that can keep them safe from experiencing the oxidation/heating/oxidation/heating/failure loop.
Below you will see an aluminum wire connection that is failing. While the splices shown here did not and do not conform to Code because they are not enclosed in a junction box, you can readily see the heat of the deteriorating connection caused a burn mark on the insulation located behind the bad connection.
-Generator costs may seem high and the cost of running them can be if used extensively. However, consider that an extended power outage could result in:
1. the cost of loss of furnishings, and other items in basements due to the sump pump not operating during a storm,
2. food losses when refrigerators and freezers cannot run,
3. the loss of heat during cold weather or air conditioning during hot weather possibly requiring an extended hotel stay
4. the potential for accidental falls from a lack of lighting
5. critical medical equipment required for health or electronic equipment required for employment will be unusable
6. Current FIOS connected phones will not work after approximately 4 hours without power; mobile cellular phones will have to be charged elsewhere
Investing in a manual portable generator with a transfer switch or an automatic standby generator can be counted as relatively small.