Winter is a time of warm holiday cheer and family gatherings, but unfortunately, all the festivities will no doubt put a strain on your home’s electrical systems if you’re not careful. Before the relatives pile in and overload your sockets with their phone chargers, there are many things you can do to outfit your home and stay ahead of any unexpected problems.
Nobody wants to deal with utility issues on their time off, so to give you an idea of what kinds of precautions you can take, here are 5 ways to prepare your home’s electrical systems this winter. Once you get everything under control, you’ll be in a much better position to enjoy your time with family and friends:
1. Check Outside Power Lines and Electrical Boxes
The first thing to do to ensure that your home’s electrical systems are protected against the elements is to conduct a thorough check of your outside equipment. If your electric box is located outside, such as in the garage or in the shed, be sure to wipe it clean of any debris or water leaks that could damage its integrity. If you notice that anything is wrong with either factor, then contact a professional for your electrical repairs as soon as possible.
2. Look for Moisture Near Indoor Sockets or Wiring
Quite often, winter months can lead to excessive moisture on account of snowfall and cooler temperatures. With this in mind, it’s best to inspect your home and look for any moisture buildup on walls and floors near any sockets or electrical wiring. Damp power outlets can trigger sparks or electrical surges from normal use, and internal wiring may become damaged or susceptible to short-circuiting from leaks or condensation. Aside from mopping them up yourself and maintaining a dry atmosphere, any components that are compromised should be repaired by a professional electrician before being reintroduced. Plus, basic repairs now will save you from potentially spending a lot of money on major complications down the road.
3. Purchase a Surge Protector
These can sometimes be confused for power strips, but surge protectors are incredibly helpful in preventing electrical fires and electrical spikes caused by power surges or lightning strikes. Along with providing more outlets for Christmas lights and other decorations, a surge protector offers a certain amount of energy, which serves as a range of support that can withstand extreme amplification of power that would otherwise destroy your equipment or appliances. Having a surge protector with more joules gives you the best defense, and some brands will even offer insurance policies for your damaged equipment if the protector fails to safeguard them. Ask your electrician for a recommendation of their favorite brands and integrate them into your home for peace of mind all season.
4. Unplug Gadgets, Equipment, and Appliances When Not Using
It may be a hassle at the end of a long day, but taking the time to unplug all of your unneeded gadgets, equipment, and appliances will help save you money on utility bills, as well as keeping them safe against any electrical mishaps. Studies show that the average U.S. household spends roughly 25% of their energy bill every month on “phantom power,” and although the amount may seem insignificant, the overall consumption of energy by phantom power from households around the country is equal to an entire year’s output by 17 power plants. To save more money during the holidays, consider disconnecting anything that’s not in use. Every cent will matter when you’re scrambling to buy those last-minute holiday gifts.
5. Install GFCI Breakers for Your Home
Lastly, a great way to secure your home against any electrical threats is to install ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) breakers to accompany the outlets in your home. A GFCI breaker is a failsafe device that will automatically shut off power to an outlet once it becomes compromised from any internal or external factors. For example, if water gets spilled onto an outlet, the GFCI breaker will trigger, stopping functionality until power is manually reinstated with the breaker switch. Keep in mind, installing these devices requires some serious handy work since it involves close proximity with major electrical components. That being said, it’s always a good idea to hire a professional who can properly assemble them and inform you about how they work.
Outfit Your Home with CMC Electric
In the long run, following these ideas will help save you money for the holidays, while keeping your loved ones safe. CMC Electric believes that prevention is the one way to upkeep your home’s electrical stability, so if you run into any problems or questions during your next walkthrough, feel free to contact one of our certified electricians for a consultation.
This holiday season, let us help you prepare for the unexpected. Contact us today and request a service from our team.