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A Summer Electrical Check-Up for Your Home
Author: Robert Palmer

When was the last time your home had an electrical checkup?

The wonderful weather of Summer presents the easy opportunity to request that an electrician visit and have your home’s electrical system thoroughly checked. Similar to the way we as people go to the doctor for a physical, a home’s electrical system should receive annual or semi-annual inspections. The main reasons we would do this are to protect the longevity of the house, protect the inhabitant’s well being and maintain the best efficiency - which can save you money on your energy bill.

Throughout the year as electrical devices in the home wear and tear, make a list and store it in an accessible place. The more work that can be done in one visit by an electrician, the more you will save versus paying for several visits. Most electrical problems should only be handled by a professional. This is mainly due to the safety risk involved as well as any job not done correctly can cost time and money in the future if not up to code. Once you have enough items on your list to take action, review the home for any other electrical problems that may have been overlooked.

This is also a great time to do an evaluation of your electrical usage needs. Do you or your family need more power in the home? If so, include that on the list and ask the electrician if an upgrade is available. Finally, in preparing for your checkup, it may also be appropriate to determine if your home could use money saving electrical fixture upgrades. For example, you may want to upgrade frequently used rooms from common incandescent lights to fluorescent ones. This will reduce the electrical consumption and lower your energy bill.

The next step is to request an estimate and evaluate the electrician. To contact electricians many people use the internet. One website that focuses on the Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Maryland area provides brief descriptions of trusted Electrical Contractors is http://www.allaroundthehome.com/electricians.asp. This site allows the home-owner to make a decision on which electricians they wish to request a free estimate from, without the fear of having to field dozens of sales calls from contractors they didn't select.

“We set this site up because we wanted to allow homeowners to decide which electricians should contact them. We feel that this type of service request can be treated more as a consultation if we hand the decision to the homeowner. Many other contractor referral sites sell a person’s contact info to several contractors and this leads to them being pushed by too many salespeople. Our website opens the opportunity for the more professional, consultative approach from the contractor to the homeowner,” says All Around the Home's Co-Owner, Ryan Corey.

Using a site like this can allow you to choose one or more local electricians that appear to be a good fit for you and your job. Once you have the chance to speak to the contractor you can ask more qualifying questions. What might you want to ask when chatting with an electrical contractor?

* Number of years of experience
* Types of specialty
* Type of charge: by the job or by the hour
* "Ballpark estimate" for your job

Depending on your job, the best rate may not be the best fit. This often correlates with experience, and that is a matter of your personal preference.

Finally, once the job is set up, prepare for the electrician's visit. Be sure to clear all work areas of any fragile items, home decorations and furnishings. It is also necessary to make sure that the panel box is clear and ready to be accessed. This will save the electrician time, which means you save money. Once the visit is complete you can rest assured that your home’s electrical safety has been optimized and you will be operating at an efficient level.

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All Around The Home's owners live in the Maryland, Virginia, DC metro area. Their business model currently serves homeowners and home improvement contractors in the Mid-Atlantic region by matching the two parties through a one-to-one estimate request service. Current home service categories featured include: Heating & Air Conditioning (HVAC); Plumbing; Electrical; Basement Waterproofing; Kitchen Remodeling; Painting; Roofing; Landscaping and Cleaning Services (among others). Interested contractors can sign up to begin receiving leads at www.allaroundthehome.com/add-listing.asp or request more information or find a local electrical contractor through the firm's website at www.allaroundthehome.com/electricians.asp.



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