How to Avoid the Most Common Winter Electrical Problems

Winter weather puts a strain on many home electrical systems. It’s not just that you could accidentally find yourself without power on one of the coldest days of the year—some electrical problems can cause fire hazards, especially if you’re overloading your circuits with holiday décor, space heaters and electric blankets. Avoid having to call for an emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA by following these tips to keep your home and office safe.

Inadequate electrical system

Your electrical system works overtime in the winter, from your heating system to the holiday decorations. Have your lights been flickering, or have you been tripping your breakers more than usual? You might be overloading your electrical system.

There are two solutions to address this problem. First, you can evaluate your appliances and decide if it’s time to replace them with energy-efficient models. If your appliances (like the washer, dryer and refrigerator) are more than 10 years old, they’re probably using a lot more power than they have to (and more than you realize).

The second solution is to “heavy up,” which is an industry expression for increasing the amperage of your home’s electrical system. If your home is over 20 years old, it may not be wired for the demands of today’s technology and appliances. You can have an electrician come inspect your system to see if you’re at risk for fires or outages.

Outdated heating equipment

Are you still using your old space heaters and electric blankets? If they’re more than five years old, they could be a hazard to your home. Space heaters are great for warming up the parts of your house that the heater never seems to reach, but they use a lot of electricity in the process. Always plug your heater into a dedicated wall outlet and unplug it when not in use. If your space heater’s or electric blanket’s cords are frayed or worn, it’s time to replace them.

Electrical fire hazards

Holiday décor and dry winter weather can create electrical fire and shock hazards. Always keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources, and inspect all of your holiday lights for damage and wear. If they’re older than five years, consider replacing them.

Extension cords can also be a source of problems—they don’t reliably trip circuit breakers, which can cause fires. That means that you should only use them temporarily, and unplug them when not in use.

Finally, avoid electrical shocks from dry winter weather by using a humidifier in your home.

Emergency electrician in Alexandria, VA

Since 1985, Walsh Electric has served the Alexandria area with skilled electrical contractors who can handle your toughest problems. We offer services for residential, commercial and government clients and have electricians on call and ready to help 24/7. Whatever the size and scope of your electrical problem, our technicians can help you get back to normal, upgrade your electric system or perform routine inspection and maintenance to avoid future problems. Call us today to find out how we can help you.