Whether we like it or not, Winter is coming and it’s rough on our electrical systems. While it is not uncommon to encounter issues throughout the year, some electrical problems are more persistent during the cold season. Noticing these issues before they become a problem can help prevent costly repairs and uncomfortable conditions. Read on as we discuss some of the most common electrical issues that can occur and how to prepare.
Tripping a Breaker
Breakers can trip any time of the year however winter months are more demanding for electricity. With holiday decorations, portable heaters and other seasonal devices; your home’s electrical system is often under significant strain. Flickering lights and tripping breakers are common issues. To prevent this, you may consider having a certified electrician increase the power of your home’s electrical panel. This allows you to accommodate state of the art appliances and gives you the advantage of having a stronger current of electricity. Another option is checking and replacing older panels and weak breakers to confirm they are performing to their full capability.
Due to lack of humidity during the winter months, static electricity – a charge imbalance in dry materials, can be prevalent. If a damaged or unmonitored electrical current or flammable substance is nearby, static electricity can result in powerful shocks. A humidifier is a popular appliance for use in drier areas of a home and may prevent this issue.
Heavily used during the winter months to keep warm, space heaters and electric blankets require a significant amount of electricity. Outdated equipment can wreak havoc on an electrical system and dated items are often incompatible with modern homes creating a high potential to cause an electrical fire. When using one of these items to try to beat the cold, make sure they are plugged into a dedicated outlet and not an extension cord. Also confirm they are unplugged when not in use. Equipment and appliances should be checked regularly and as a guideline, if a heating appliance is older than five years it is outdated and may need to be replaced. If used correctly, space heaters can keep your home warm without overconsuming power or overheating.
Holiday lighting is used by many homes and they can be an amazing sight to behold. Standard circuit breakers can handle an average of 15 or 20 amps of current. Although individually light strings only draw a couple milliamps on average, when you add more strings of light together you can muster up a lot of power. It’s good practice to read the instructions and figure out the maximum number of connections possible for your holiday lights. If you find a burnt-out bulb, replace it as soon as possible. When other bulbs are burnt out an increasing amount of current is sent to the rest of the bulbs. The strain can cause other bulbs to fail at a fast rate, which is also known as the cascading effect.
Often accompanied by snow, rain, and storms, winter can bring disastrous weather conditions. An unprotected or under-protected home is more vulnerable to weather-related power outages during winter. Thoroughly checking your home’s electrical system will help determine if your home is winter-ready. Providing back-up power, a generator may also be installed for use when a power outage is unavoidable. Auto Start options allow for seamless transfers of power allowing you to continue with your daily tasks without hesitation.
Having electrical issues arise in the winter can not only be a real pain but can end up being a safety issue for you and your family. To avoid unfortunate events from electrical devices, contact Sirrom Wiring and Electrical Services Ltd. Our team of qualified and experienced electricians will make sure your devices are inspected and up to code and help you make the right decision to fix or replace any issues the right way.