Maintaining your home’s electrical system in a safe and efficient operating condition is a top priority all year-round. Winter monitoring of equipment and systems becomes even more important in areas where electrical issues increase with seasonal increases in usage. Addressing basic electrical problems and solutions before issues become serious can help you prevent the need for major repairs or replacements and loss of power when you need it most. Here are four of the most common electrical problems to prepare for before winter:
Common Electrical Problems During the Wintertime
During winter in the northwest U.S., heating systems run 24/7, plus there are portable heaters, lighted holiday decorations, and major holiday cooking and baking. People stay at home more during colder months, which means longer periods of lighting and entertainment electronics usage, like TV, computer gaming, web surfing, etc. Altogether, these put a seasonal strain on many home electrical systems. It leads to lights flickering and breakers tripping, among other winter electrical issues.
There are several solutions to avoiding the frustration of frequently tripping breakers, electrical wiring problems, or burning out the breaker panel:
- Shut down the nonessentials. For example, banish the lighted decorations, buy bakery goods instead of baking, cut the use of recreational electronic devices.
- Take turns using electrical appliances, digital devices, and heaters in shifts.
- Upgrade your home electrical system to accommodate a stronger current.
For the third option, the electrical upgrade process may be faster, less invasive, and cost less than you think. Replacing the panel and incoming power cable, and making certain other adaptations will increase the power capacity of your home. That means you can run modern appliances, electronics, HVAC, and enjoy your home the way you prefer, without frequently losing power.
Electrical Outages and Storm Damage
Winter on the northeast coast can be expected to bring strong winds, driving rains, heavy snow, and ice. Sometimes these weather elements hit the region with disastrous force. New Jersey families in homes that are not protected well enough are more likely to experience periods of power outages and need for power line repairs due to winter events.
Conduct a thorough examination of your home’s electrical system, to determine whether it is ready for winter. Even for well-prepared homes in the region, it is advisable to have a whole-house standby power generator installed, if possible, for use in unavoidable outages.
Outdated Equipment Break Down
Old, outdated equipment and appliances can cause serious issues requiring electrical troubleshooting in residential systems during winter. Especially older space heaters, lighting fixtures, power strips, electric blankets, and other outdated electrical items. These present electrical fire hazards.
Check any older equipment, appliances, and devices in your home frequently during winter, and check plug ends and outlets used to supply power to such items. A good rule of thumb is, for example, that if portable heating equipment is more than five years old, it should be replaced.
Space Heater Issues
Space heaters cause 21,800 house fires each year and around 300 deaths, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to the high safety risk to people and property, using space heaters also consumes a large amount of electricity. Space heaters are not known for energy efficiency. Nevertheless, space heaters can be very helpful for helping warm spaces during waking hours.
For safety, a space heater should be plugged into a dedicated outlet. The heater should not be used for prolonged periods, and it should be unplugged while it is not in use. When used carefully, space heaters can be great for supplementary heating in a home.
Staying Safe and Warm in Winter
Northeastern homes in the U.S. withstand a lot of cold and rough winter weather. To avoid the electrical problems that frequently come with those conditions, New Jersey homeowners are advised to stay on the lookout for signs of electrical problems in homes:
- Have seasonal inspections of electrical systems, HVAC systems, large and small appliances, and backup power generators.
- Continuously monitor space heaters, power strips, electric blankets, older appliances, and other sources of potential electrical issues.
- Repair or upgrade electrical wiring, outlets, equipment, and appliances based on their age and condition.
Follow the above home electrical maintenance tips to enjoy a safe and comfortable winter season in your New Jersey home.
For Help With Wintertime Electrical Issues
We are a group of Master Electricians in New Jersey. DK provides industrial, commercial, and residential electrical services. We can provide same-day service for minor installations or repairs. Our electricians are all licensed, bonded, and insured.
We offer financing for major electrical projects, and 0% interest financing (for qualified credit). DK has options to fit every budget. See our special discount offers page on our website.
We serve our customers throughout the state, including in Southampton New Jersey, and the surrounding cities of Medford, Marlton, Mt. Laurel, Haddonfield, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Trenton, Willingboro, Mount Holly, and others.