Five Tips for Making Sure Your Home Electrical System is Ready for Winter
As temperatures begin to drop in winter, you should assess the efficiency of your electrical system. Your home’s circuit will experience an increase in load during the cold season. That is when most of your heating equipment, light bulbs, and appliances will be running. In this article, we’ll explore ways of preparing your electrical system for the season ahead.
Testing and Labeling the Electrical Panel
Before winter, it is essential to have your electrical panel tested by a certified electrician. Our electricians have years of experience working with a wide range of electronic systems. They can alert you in case there are problems with the circuit.
Whenever a circuit breaker trips, ensure that you first unplug your electronics and appliances before trying to switch it back on. If everything is okay, your power supply should resume, and you can safely plug them back in. However, it is not wise to ignore a circuit breaker that trips frequently.
A breaker that is always tripping may indicate that the circuit is overloaded. It may also be a safety measure by the breaker to stop a short circuit or an electrical arc. An assessment will ensure that the wiring and installation comply with regulations. Recent changes to the National Electrical Code requires the electrical system to have an AFCI (Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter) breaker.
Black Lion certified electricians will also label the circuit. Labeling allows you to quickly identify parts of the system whenever there is a problem. It eliminates confusion so that you can determine which switches to turn on when the circuit trips.
Test Wiring and Prepare Safety Systems
When the wires are worn out, they can pose a danger to your home through short circuits. Wires can fray due to aging, corrosion, or physical damage. Frayed wiring could be a sign of a problem with the electrical connections. If the wiring has defects, there may be signs of burns and black spots around the sockets.
During the cold season, there are more storms, which means higher incidences of surges. Surges can damage your electronics. So you may want to consider installing a surge protector to prevent power interruptions and the failure of electrical equipment.
You also need to ensure your backup generator is working during the cold season. If the generator is inactive most of the time, run it for about half an hour to check that it is working. Extreme temperatures can affect the efficiency of the generator.
Therefore, it is also essential to pay attention to the location of the generator. Low pressure and oxygen deficiency can cause ignition problems, particularly in winter. The generator should preferably be in an enclosure with heating to prevent ignition failure.
Winter is also the time when you’ll be running your furnace and generator more frequently. In enclosed spaces, CO2 and Carbon Monoxide can be deadly. Approximately 50,000 people require emergency treatment annually due to accidental CO poisoning. Carbon Monoxide also claims more than 400 lives every year.
Since Carbon Monoxide is odorless and colorless, it is virtually impossible to detect it unless you have an alarm. That’s why an electrician should inspect your CO2 and CO detectors during the cold season. They can fix the devices to keep your home safe through the winter.
Heating System and Thermostat Inspection
Another item to check off your checklist is the inspection of heating systems and related devices like the thermostat. Our certified professionals can check the electrical components in your circuit to unearth possible faults.
Your HVAC unit is not only necessary for comfort, but it also maintains a suitable environment for other residential systems. For example, when your furnace breaks down, it exposes your pipes to low temperatures. Freezing temperatures could burst your pipes and cause extensive damage to your home.
You also don’t want your heating system to fail just because the thermostat’s battery is dead. You should make a point of checking the batteries before winter and change them if necessary. A qualified professional can help you calibrate the thermostat for optimal efficiency.
If your device is faulty, you should repair or replace it as soon as possible. A defective thermostat can increase energy consumption in your home. It may affect the function of the furnace, creating ignition issues. If you experience such problems that require urgent assistance, contact Black Lion Heating & Air Conditioning for quality electrical solutions in Kirkland.
Evaluate your Lighting Needs
As the days grow shorter during the winter, it is critical to have a reliable source of illumination. Lighting can affect your mood and productivity. So it is always advisable to schedule an inspection of your light fixtures.
The low temperatures can also negatively impact the operation of the light bulbs. Compact fluorescent lamps can reduce their output by up to 50% under freezing temperatures. The bulb may fail to work at all, especially if it is in a location where it is very cold.
Light Emitting Diodes are more reliable for outdoor applications in winter. You can expect LEDs to perform under high or low temperatures. They offer better visibility with brighter illumination. They consume less energy than incandescent bulbs. Modern LED light bulbs are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and durable.
You can consult Black Lion electricians if you want to enhance your illumination in your Kirkland home. You may need new electrical outlets for task lighting, security lights, and floor and desk lamps. The right lighting will not only boost your mood in winter but also cut down power consumption.
Optimize Energy Use
Many appliances will be running during fall and winter, from your HVAC system to lighting. With all those systems drawing power, there is a higher risk of electrical failure and hazards. That’s why you need to schedule an inspection to keep your home safe.
Also, watch out for a spike in utility bills that you cannot attribute to a recent increase in energy consumption. The rise in power usage could point to an electrical fault such as circuit overloading or frayed wires.
The problem could also be with your appliances rather than the circuit. Components within your washing machine, space heaters, or fans may be faulty. The defects can increase your energy consumption.
You need to organize for repairs whenever you detect such issues. Defective electronics can generate a significant amount of heat that can cause fires. Electrical connections are the third leading factor for residential fires.
Other than the circuit and appliances, our certified electrician will also check your meter. A defective meter may cause electrical problems that are difficult to diagnose. They can troubleshoot outlets, wiring, the circuit breaker panel.
Prepping your electrical system in winter will help you:
- Prevent electrical fires
- Safeguard expensive electric appliances
- Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
- Meet manufacturer specifications and local codes
- Improve overall electrical system efficiency
You can count on Black Lion for the repair of electrical systems in Kirkland. We also offer indoor air quality, water heater, and generator installation and repair. Our staff is factory-trained and can troubleshoot a wide range of appliances and heating equipment. Our top-rated team is known for using quality parts and first-class craftsmanship.
When you need a professional for electrical system solutions, you can count on Black Lion in Kirkland. You can schedule an appointment to take advantage of our 100% guarantee today.