How to Prepare Your Electrical Panel for the Winter

Getting ready for the winter season can involve more than you might have considered—for example, have you thought about making sure your electrical panel is in good working order? With the extra heating and holiday light needs, it is useful to make sure that everything is in good working order so that your holiday season goes smoothly. Read on for some tips from the residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA at Walsh Electric.

Proactive steps

  • Be efficient: Have you heard of “phantom loads”? That’s the measure of electricity that your appliances require when plugged in, even if you’re not using them. By keeping your appliances and other electrical items unplugged when not in use, you’re reducing your energy load.
  • Prepare a generator: If you live in an area prone to power outages, making sure your generator is charged and ready to go is key. This is especially important because having a power outage in the winter can mean frozen pipes.
  • Test your outlets and detectors: Use a multimeter to detect any electrical outlets that are underperforming or may be failing.
  • Close and cover your panel: Keeping your panel closed prevents it from acquiring moisture, which can seriously damage your electricity.

Sources of problems

  • Space heaters: Space heaters require a huge amount of electricity, and thus can create a heightened risk for house fires. When you use them during the cold and rainy weather, be sure to unplug them after use.
  • Static electricity: Static resulting from dry air can result in sparks and fire damage. To combat this, use a home humidifier to keep your air at the proper level of moisture.
  • Power outages: Power outages can be dangerous to your home—is your panel over- or underloaded? Getting your home’s electrical system inspected can help you prepare, as can getting a generator to compensate for additional outages.
  • Tripping breakers: When you have the furnace, space heaters, microwave and Christmas tree lights going, you’re almost certain to trip a breaker. Ask your electrician about how you can prevent fires or power outages.
  • Old equipment: When your appliances—especially space heaters—are outdated, you run the risk of creating an additional fire hazard. Many older appliances are simply not compatible with newer homes and today’s electrical loads. If an appliance is over five years old, it may need to be replaced, but check with an electrician to be sure.

If you’re in doubt, get a residential electrical inspection. Walsh Electric can come inspect your home and give you the peace of mind to get through the winter.

Residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA

Not sure if your electrical panel will survive the winter? When you need residential electrical contractors in Alexandria, VA, call Walsh Electric. We’ve served the community for over 30 years, offering a high level of expertise for all your electrical needs. From commercial and industrial clients to residential customers, we provide a range of services that can’t be matched. Best of all, we have licensed technicians on call 24/7 to provide support right when you need it. Contact us today and get a free estimate!