Five Tips for Making Sure Your Home Electrical System is Ready for Winter
The falling temperatures in the Seattle area confirm that winter is in full swing. During these cold and gray days, the best place that you can be is in your warm and comfortable home. However, to ensure that your home’s electrical system can make it through the winter with no struggles, there are some important steps that our experts at Brennan Electric recommend you take before the most extreme weather hits. While you can handle some of these items yourself, the majority of the preparations will need to be carried out by a licensed electrician to ensure you stay safe.
1. Install a Generator
With heavy snow a possibility throughout the winter, there’s always a chance that you could suddenly lose power due to downed power lines. To ensure that your home doesn’t suffer from a power outage, it’s a good idea to install a whole-home generator. The team from Brennan Electric is ready to assist.
Unlike a portable generator with an engine that must be started before you can get power, a whole-home generator kicks on as soon as it senses an interruption in power. This helps prevent damage to your home’s electrical devices and ensures that you don’t have any lapse in comfort.
A whole-home generator can even provide enough power to run your HVAC system so that you can continue to enjoy the warmth it provides. When choosing a generator, it’s important to consider your peak power needs at any given time.
After all, when the power goes out, there’s no way of knowing when it will be restored. Therefore, assume that it will be out long enough for you to eventually need to use multiple electrical devices at once. If that occurs, you’ll require plenty of power so that you don’t overload the system.
2. Upgrade Electrical Circuits
Since you’re likely to spend more time inside during the winter, you’re also likely to spend more time using electronic devices. Plus, if there’s a room in your home that you can’t seem to get warm, you’ll probably take advantage of the localized heating that a space heater provides.
These usage increases, along with holiday lights, extra cooking and other winter-weather activities, all point to a need for a robust home electrical system. In some cases, this means you’ll need the professionals at Brennan Electric to upgrade circuits in certain rooms so that you have enough power to cover all of your devices without tripping breakers.
In addition to adding amps to certain rooms, you’ll want to make sure that the wiring in your home can handle the extra demand. For some homeowners, this may mean upgrading the home’s wiring from aluminum to copper so that the electrical system has maximum conductivity.
3. Take Care of Your HVAC System
Throughout the winter, you’ll depend on your furnace to keep your home comfortable. Since your furnace is a major electricity user, it’s important to take care of it and other HVAC components as part of your winter electrical system preparations.
The main thing you’ll want to check is that your HVAC system is operating as efficiently as it should. This is because a more efficient system will use less power, leaving more flexibility for your other electric devices.
A licensed HVAC technician can help you improve your system’s efficiency by performing routine maintenance. This includes lubricating all moving parts, cleaning areas of heavy dust accumulation and testing all electrical connections to make sure they’re tight.
Of course, you can also contribute to an efficient HVAC system by making sure that you replace your equipment’s air filter on a regular basis. Typically, this works out to once a month, though your schedule may be slightly different depending on the needs of your home. If you’re having a new system installed, it’s a good idea to have Brennan Electric stop by and look at the electrical connections to ensure that everything is wired correctly and safely.
4. Improve Your Lighting
Long nights and gray days can leave many people feeling depressed throughout the winter season. One way to overcome this problem is to improve the lighting in your home. Adding different fixtures to the various rooms in your home will help create variety and remind everyone in your family of the warmer days ahead.
To create warm, inviting light, the crew from Brennan Electric recommends that you use lights labeled “soft white.” This term refers to the color temperature, which is a way to describe the appearance of the light from the bulb. Measured in degrees of Kelvin, lights in the 2700–3000K range typically provide warm light, while lights at 5000K or above put out a bright white light that can be harsh and uninviting, especially after the sun goes down.
No matter which type of lighting you choose for your home, it’s important to select LED bulbs and fixtures. These newer fixtures and bulbs use far less energy than incandescent bulbs, meaning that you can significantly increase the amount of lighting in your home without significantly increasing your utility bill. Plus, less energy usage will put less strain on your home’s electrical system so that you don’t run into any problems.
5. Invest in Surge Protectors
Some of the most popular holiday gifts are electronic devices of various types. If you receive a new electronic device, the team from Brennan Electric recommends that you make your first purchase a surge protector to defend your new equipment from electrical damage.
An electrical surge is a spike in the electric current coming into your home. If one of these spikes travels through an outlet and into an electronic device, it could destroy the equipment. Since electrical surges are unpredictable, the only way to protect your devices is to plug them into a surge protector whenever they’re being used or charged.
In fact, all of the electronic devices in your home, including appliances, aquariums, expensive light fixtures and other items powered by electricity, need to be protected by surge protectors. To add an extra measure of protection, you can have Brennan Electric install a whole-home surge protector.
These devices stop surges before they enter your home. This ensures that your electrical system doesn’t suffer in the event that your home experiences a significant spike in electricity.
Let Us Assist You
At Brennan Electric, we are completely focused on taking care of your home’s electrical needs. Unlike other electrical companies that try to do a little bit of everything, our sole purpose is to provide great electrical solutions for our customers. This means that each of our technicians can quickly and accurately handle any electrical problems you’re having. We can perform electrical panel installation and repair, lighting installation, surge protector installation, generator repair and installation, wiring and much more. Since our founding, we have been dedicated to providing superb customer service, which is why we’ve been awarded the Angie’s List Super Service Award along with countless five-star reviews. We operate throughout Seattle, WA, and the surrounding areas. To learn more about preparing your electrical system for winter, give us a call at Brennan Electric today.