Many homeowners look forward to the cooler winter months and all of the holidays that come in this season. However, no one is looking forward to having electrical problems around their home this winter. But because of the added demand placed on your home’s electrical system by heating, added lights, and the use of other devices, you need to be aware of the potential risks. And know how to handle these winter electrical problems that could arise safely.
Electrical Breaker And Panel Problems
In the cooler months, you are turning on your furnace to keep your home warm and cozy. And in almost every home in the country, the HVAC system is the largest consumer of electricity. Also, the daylight hours are shorter, so you rely on lamps and other lighting fixtures in the morning and evening hours to light your home. And if you are a fan of the holidays, there are decorative lights, outdoor inflatable decorations, and maybe even outdoor projectors creating a festive mood at your home. And all of these features use electricity. If you notice any lighting beginning to flicker, beware. It is the first sign of trouble and an overloaded circuit or wiring issue. If flickering lights make a regular appearance at your home, just before St. Nick, it is time to think about calling your trusted electrician for a heavy-up.
Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to error on the thrifty side. And that means that they are happy to continue using an item well after it should be replaced. Items used for a few months of the year are placed in storage and then pulled out each winter without thought of their condition or safety. Things like space heaters, electric blankets, holiday lights, and even extension cords and power strips all use electricity. And all of these items wear out or can be damaged when in storage. Be diligent about inspecting any electrical item that you pull out of storage before plugging it in. Over one million homes each year suffer electrical fires. And it is never worth risking the safety of your loved ones or home by using warn out electrical devices.
Space heaters are a convenient and sometimes necessary means of heating parts of your home. But they consume a massive amount of electricity and pose a certain level of safety risk. Even when set on low, these electricity munching devices demand around 700 watts or more. And the larger units can devour up to 2,000 watts. So be sure that these units are plugged into a dedicated circuit and set a safe distance from anything flammable. Also, consider their location and potential hazards that could arise if someone wakes up at night and is making a bathroom trip. Even brushing against a space heater can cause a severe burn.
While everyone loves a White Christmas, some electrical issues come along with that beautiful event. Snow and ice can take their toll on the often delicate power lines that service the area. And when it is not ice or snow causing the damage, it can be the high wind from other storms that topple trees and power lines alike. Be prepared for hours without power and heat in your home over the winter months. Have battery-powered lanterns, wood for the fireplace, and lots of extra blankets to keep warm until power can be restored.
If you have any concerns about your home’s electrical service’s safety and functionality this winter, call (703) 463-9866. An Circuit Doctor professional will arrive promptly to inspect your home’s electrical system and provide you with a list of any necessary repairs. Our primary concern is always the safety and peace of mind of our customers. And we will do everything we can to find cost-effective, safe solutions for all of your winter electrical issues.