As the season transitions from fall to winter, the air will begin to get colder and take us into the long winter months. Here in Houston, we’ve already had a taste of what’s to come. When it comes to the cold weather, you either love it or hate it. But, nostalgia-filled moments like sitting around the living room watching football games and sharing holidays with family are enough to satisfy even the most stubborn Grinch. Even during another COVID-19 outbreak. It’s the simple things that bring us pleasure.
And while we’re trying to find joy in the small things, we’re probably not as concerned about our electrical system as we should be. It’s something we simply take for granted, like most everything else in life. But as the temperatures fall, electrical problems can not only become a nuisance. They can become downright dangerous.
As they say, knowledge is power. When you’re armed with knowing what to look for, you can sleep a little easier by addressing these common electrical issues.
The first thing that comes to mind is a good old-fashioned lightning strike. Lightning strikes can occur at any time of the year, but they can get particularly violent when a cold front intercepts a warm front. In the South, we get those more often than folks do up north. Lightning can damage your electronics, knock out your electricity, and damage your home’s electrical system.
The Solution: A whole-house generator can prevent surprise power outages when you least expect it. Not to mention, we tend to lose electricity when we need it the most, whether on a cold, dreary night to power our central heat or in the aftermath of a summer storm. It also helps to use power surge strips for your electronics, or better yet, have an electrician install a whole-house power surge device to protect your larger appliances. Finally, you’ll want to have an experienced electrician evaluate your home’s electrical system. Power surges and lightning strikes may not automatically cause a fire as you might think it would. But over time, your system can get damaged and cause a fire down the road.
During winter, the most common cause of a tripped breaker is electrical space heaters in the home. When it happens, it’s a warning sign that you need to figure out why it’s happening. The most common reason is that the heater is overheating the circuit by using more current than is available. The breaker trips to prevent overheating to the point of causing a fire. Your breaker might trip when operating an electrical space heater because there are too many appliances on the same circuit. Then again, your circuit breaker might be old and in need of a replacement. The point is that it’s not normal no matter how you slice it.
The Solution: You can try plugging the space heater into a different outlet. But if the breaker keeps tripping, it’s best to have an electrician evaluate the problem.
Small appliances, such as space heaters and electric blankets, are sometimes older and outdated. Some are also not compatible with your new home’s electrical system. The hazard to this is that it can cause an electrical fire.
The Solution: Consider this: If your electric blanket or space heaters are older, say more than five years old, you may want to consider replacing them.
Failed Water Heater
Things often fail when we need them the most. A water heater is a perfect example. You wouldn’t be the first homeowner to get up bright and early, only to discover there’s no hot water when taking your shower.
The Solution: If you have an electric water heater, you may want to have an electrician inspect it before the cold air sets in. While many things can prevent your water tank from heating up, some of the causes can be spotted early and corrected.
Address Winter Electrical Problems by Contacting Our Experts
As Houston’s premier electrical experts, our electricians have visited many homes in Texas. During the winter months, there’s no doubt you want to be warm and comfortable.
If you take steps now to prepare for winter, you can prevent some of the more common electrical problems that our electricians are often addressing deep in the cold, winter months.
Contact us for an electrical inspection to make sure that your home is winter-ready.