Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cool Fall/Winter House Fix-Ups To Lighten Up Your Life

Cool Fall/Winter House Fix-Ups To Lighten Up Your Life

Here's a few cool and fun tips that really adds up from the old-school stuff.

Almost every home has GFCI outlets for safety purposes. Those letters, of course, stand for “ground fault circuit interrupter.” It’s an electrical outlet that prevents someone from being shocked in a kitchen or bath if an appliance plugged in an outlet malfunctions or gets wet. There are usually the outlets with the very small green stickers on them.

•  Now you can buy GFCIs with built-in mini-night-lights. Having an all-in-one night-light plus GFCI means you’ll have more plug-in spaces available for other devices. If you are taking out a GFCI to install one of these new lights, be sure that the new outlet you install is also a GFCI or you could shut down some of the protection system in a kitchen or bath.

•  Is it sometimes hard to find an outlet in a room where you can plug in your cellphone? Some new outlets now let you charge your smartphone and sometimes a laptop without even using an adaptor. You simply plug into vertical USB ports in these receptacles that can also have traditional plug holes. How cool is that?

These devices have a smart chip that recognizes and optimizes the charging power of your phone or laptop. You can charge two phones or computers simultaneously. These charging slots are available on GFCIs as well as on standard receptacles.

•  Also think about installing motion sensor lighting -- outdoor lights that come on in your yard anytime someone walks up to the house can increase safety and security. At the hardware store, you can buy a standard motion sensor fixture to replace almost any lighting fixture on the exterior of your home. Buy a sturdy metal fixture -- not a plastic one that will crack in Arizona’s dry heat.

You can install these devices by yourself provided you educate yourself a little bit about the basics of electricity and use some safety devices like voltage detectors or testers. But don’t hesitate to call an electrician if you don’t feel up to the job.

The No. 1 rule to remember: Before installing any new outlet or receptacle you have to turn off the circuit breaker for the area of the outlet at the electrical panel for your home. Then use a voltage tester to ensure power is off. Otherwise, it shall coma to as a shock to you....After removing the outlet cover plate, poke the tester against the wires inside to double-check that the power is off.

#Cool Fall/WinterHouseFix-Ups

Richard Bazinet - Realty ONE Group - Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate