Winterizing Your Home Electrical System
Once the temperature dips below 100 degrees in the Phoenix area, we start thinking about scarves and things to keep us warmer, even though some of us never wear anything but shorts and flip flops.
As we turn to all things pumpkin spice and admiring the Christmas products in a certain warehouse store, let’s also do a few things in our home to prepare for the advent of winter. In the electrical business, we see a lot of maintenance which is neglected and prevents a home from being as comfortable as it could be. In addition to a fall maintenance inspection, we urge you to consider the following items to add to your comfort:
Reverse the ceiling fans
Ceiling fans have a switch which will change the blade direction from counterclockwise, which pushes the air down, to clockwise, which pulls the air upward. This updraft causes the warm on the ceiling (always there, since heat rises) back down the walls of the room into the presence of the room’s occupants.
Change the HVAC filter
During the summer, our HVAC units work so hard, it seems like winter would be a ‘breeze’ for them, but surprisingly, heating a house is a busy job, too. So, continue to change your filter once a month, especially if you have pets, people with respiratory conditions, or live in a particularly dusty neighborhood.
Caulk the cracks
If you have an older home, a surprising amount of heat is lost through poorly sealed window frames. This article gives a good run-down on window sealing. Once these cracks or sealed, it will not only make the rooms more comfortable, but you’ll also see a difference in your electric bill.
A smart thermostat, if you don’t already have one, can work with the ebb and tide of your comings and goings, and with your lifestyle needs, to create a customized temperature program. If you happen to be going away for the weekend or won’t be home until later than usual, you can control the temperature from your cell phone, rather than heating an empty house.
Schedule an electrical inspection
If you’re planning on using electric blankets, space heaters, or other heat-producing appliances, now is a good time to have an electrical inspection before the onset of winter. While the electrician is there, you can ask him to check your breaker box to make sure it will handle the load your family places on it, and anything else which might help the energy efficiency of your home.
Review the winter electrical appliances
When you get out those space heaters and electric blankets, check each one carefully to make sure the cords are sound and they don’t have any bunched or twisted wires, cracks or defects. Electric blankets should be thrown away if they are more than ten years old. We recommend only using an electric blanket to warm the bed before sleep: after you climb into bed, shut it off. The bed will stay cozy, but the dancer of shock or fire is minimized. Once a person is sleeping, the body becomes acclimated to the cooling temperature, which has some health benefits, as well.
A little electrical love, whether it be replacing old GFCI’s, adding a larger capacity breaker box, or simply adding a few outlets, will go a long way in adding comfort and value to your home.
If you need a fast, affordable electrician for your home or business, call RSB Electrical at