As the holiday season approaches, many people are looking forward to spending time with family and friends. But if you’re a homeowner, you need to remember that while winter can be lots of fun, getting you and your household through it without protecting your electrical system can be challenging. HVAC systems are already very energy-intensive, and as the temperatures drop, they have to work harder to keep your home warm and toasty, consuming even more electricity.
Additionally, winter days are shorter while the nights are longer, and people tend to spend most of their time indoors to keep warm. Coupled with the uptick in heating, this usually results in a significant increase in power consumption throughout winter. If the electric system in your home isn’t prepared for this spike in power usage, you could lose power and heat in the middle of winter. As such, most Irving, TX electricians would advise you to get your electric system ready for the winter months in advance.
Start with an Electrician Safety Inspection
Even if you have some rudimentary knowledge about electricity, it is advisable not to try any DIY hacks. Instead, reach out to a professional Irving, TX electrician. The first thing they will do is inspect your electrical panel. This is the service box that connects your home to the main power line and distributes electricity to all the circuits in the home. It contains fuses and circuit breakers that regulate the flow of electrical current and ensure the circuits within your home are getting the right amount of current.
A faulty or broken electrical panel can plunge your family into darkness at any time. Have a professional take a look at your electrical panel before winter rolls, especially if your home hasn’t had an electrical inspection for a while. It could save you a lot of trouble down the line.
Test the Electrical Outlets
Every electrical outlet in your home should be providing enough power. Their wires should be grounded and properly connected to prevent any accidents or electrical fires and keep them functioning efficiently. The electrician will inspect the outlets and test them to gauge their functionality and determine whether they need repair or replacement.
Test Smoke Detectors
In the case of a home fire, smoke detectors are usually the only thing standing between everyone getting out safely or suffering burns. Carbon monoxide fire detectors are even more useful as they can alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide, which is odorless and can be fatal. In cold weather, the chemical reactions that produce energy in the batteries can slow down, causing the detector to beep every few minutes. Your electrical professional will inspect and test all the smoke detectors in your home and advise you on which ones are faulty or have weak batteries.
Consider Getting a Surge Protector
A surge detector is a device that is designed to protect other electrical appliances from voltage spikes. When power is restored after an outage, the sudden jump in current can potentially damage plugged-in appliances and devices that do not have inbuilt surge protection. In some cases, power outages can even cause damage to the HVAC system. Your electrician will most likely advise you to get a surge protector if you don’t have one already.
Check on the Thermostat and HVAC System
Your heating system will be your best friend once the cold sets. If this system breaks down in the middle of winter, you could be looking at some uncomfortable nights and hefty repair costs. Your electrical professional will check if the thermostat is calibrated correctly and determine if it needs to be repaired or replaced. They will also inspect your air conditioning unit for issues like refrigerant leaks, frozen evaporator coils, and electric control failure. Inspecting the HVAC system before winter will ensure it works efficiently throughout the cold months.
Use Energy Efficiently
Electricity consumption usually spikes during the winter as people are indoors for long hours and their HVAC systems use a lot of energy to keep them warm. This will undoubtedly strain your electrical system and, in many cases, increase your energy bills. Fortunately, you can reduce the stress placed on your electrical system by being more energy-efficient. For instance, unplug any devices that aren’t being used as they still consume energy despite being used as they still consume electricity and can add an extra 10% to your electricity bill.
Here are a few more tips:
- Invest in ENERGY STAR-certified appliances – These are appliances designed to be energy efficient and can use up to 25% less energy than non-certified devices.
- Do your laundry less often – instead of doing several small washes with a few dirty clothes, wait until the laundry builds up and do big washes. If you use cold water, you will save even more energy, your clothes will have fewer wrinkles when they leave the wash, and their colors will last longer.
- Turn off lights in unused rooms – This one should become a habit. Make sure the lights are turned off in every room that isn’t in use.
- Lower the room temperature – Did you know that lowering the room temperature by just 1 degree Celcius can reduce your annual heating bill by up to 10%
Consider a Standby Generator
Winter storms usually cause an increase in power outages. Depending on how long it takes for the power to be restored, you could be looking at a few hours to a day or two of blistering cold. If you do not have a standby generator, your electrician will advise you on installing one. If you have one already, the electrician will inspect it and perform tests to ensure it is working correctly.
In a worst-case scenario, the electrician may find that a portion of your home’s wiring is defective or worn out enough to need replacing. Left alone, such wires present a significant electrical fire risk. Additionally, the electrical professional will likely recommend rewiring if your home is 50 years or older to reduce the chances of a house fire.
Electricians in Irving TX
With winter fast approaching, preparing your home’s electrical system in preparation for the increased heating needs is crucial. Having a qualified electrician take a look at your home could save you and your family money and extended durations of discomfort. Tioga Contractors offers high-quality, affordable electrical repair services in Irving, TX. We are 5-star rated on HomeAdvisor and boast great customer reviews. In addition, we are constantly adopting new technologies to ensure we can handle all your electrical problems. Contact us today for more information about our services.
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