Common Wintertime Electrical Problems and How to Avoid Them

November 26, 2018 9:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Cold weather and the holidays are the perfect match, but homeowners who are worried about their electricity at this time of the year have a valid concern. Troubles can arise when household power is thrown into overdrive, such as by decorating with string lights, powering on the heating system and using other warming devices all at the same time. With the holidays right around the corner, it’s good for homeowners to know how to identify the most common wintertime electrical problems and the best ways to avoid them. Here’s some insight from an experienced electrician in Forsyth County, GA.

Not enough household power

When temperatures drop, your heating system goes to work. The heat keeps you, your living space and your pipes warm, but add holiday lights and space heaters into the mix and you could put a strain on your electrical system. If your electrical circuit is strained, lights may flicker at random or breakers might trip more frequently. What can you do? Here are some suggestions:

  • Adjust your power use: Appliances like washing machines, dryers and HVAC systems use a lot of energy. When the holidays roll around, try using these appliances (and others) during off-peak times. This can save energy and reduce power bills. On that note, a good way to avoid electrical overload is to use appliances that suck energy one at a time—for example, run the dishwasher and then, when it’s done, wash a load of laundry.
  • Upgrade: The term “heavy up” means an electrical increase in the amperage running through your home. The service panel for your electrical system is upgraded to accommodate the average amount of power your home needs.

Avoid the risk of electrical fires

You want to avoid electrical fires in seen and unseen areas. Here’s what to do to combat the risk of electrical fires this winter:

  • Extension cords: You cannot rely on extension cords to trip the circuit breaker. Because of this, you should only use them temporarily, for things like seasonal holiday decorations and using power tools. Otherwise, you risk an electrical fire if something overheats and the breaker doesn’t flip.
  • Damaged decor cords: Test your holiday lights immediately after unpacking them, and check for damage and signs of wear and tear. Even the smallest cut or fray can cause electrical sparks and a fire.
  • Christmas trees: Whether real or artificial, keep your Christmas tree at least three feet away from sources of heat, such as space heaters, fireplaces and lit candles. And don’t keep a real tree in your home too long after Christmas—it’ll dry out and become an obvious fire risk.

Using old space heaters

Space heaters are convenient, as long as you keep proper use and safety in mind. An energy efficient electric space heater can help you save money while staying warm—just check the cord often for damage and practice some key safety measures, like plugging it into a wall outlet rather than an extension cord, unplugging it when it’s not in use and getting one with an automatic shutoff feature (if the unit gets knocked over, it’ll turn off).

No matter which type of electrical services in Forsyth County, GA you need this winter, you can count on Duke Electric Co. to be there to help. Give us a call today!

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