Winter is a tough time for many Pratt, KS, families. Not only do we deal with bitter cold when we’re out and about, but we are also faced with the effects winter has on our homes. While electrical problems are common year-round, some issues are more prevalent during the coldest months. Here, you’ll learn about some of the most common wintertime electrical issues in Pratt, KS.
Outdated AppliancesYesteryear’s appliances can put a significant strain on a home’s electrical wiring. If it’s been a few years since your home was rewired, or if you haven’t replaced its appliances in the past decade, now’s a good time to start. Older appliances aren’t very efficient; they use more energy than they need, even when they’re turned off. Consider scheduling a wiring analysis with one of Pratt’s electrical service companies.
Blown FusesThe area’s homes are wired to prevent short circuits and overloads. When an overload occurs, the wiring’s safety features prevent the affected appliance from pulling any more power, and a fuse may blow. As frustrating as these situations are, they happen for a good reason—and they reduce the risk of house fires. If your home’s fuses blow consistently, have one of our electricians add a circuit or two.
Tripped BreakersWinter is a particularly demanding time for electricity producers and consumers. Holiday lights, heating systems, space heaters, and other items put a substantial load on a home’s electrical system. When breakers trip, it means that a circuit is overloaded. No matter when it happens, we’ll determine what’s causing your breakers to trip and provide efficient, cost-effective solutions.
Dimming and Flickering LightsBright lighting makes it easier to see the world. However, when your indoor lights dim and flicker, especially when it’s blustery outside, there may be problems with your home’s wiring. Don’t let these issues go unaddressed because they can cause more serious complications in the future.
Not Enough PowerDuring a Pratt winter, families may overwork their electrical systems by raising the thermostat and plugging in more appliances. These actions increase the risk of a circuit overload, which can result in your house failing to receive enough power. An easy way to determine whether your appliances are drawing excessive power is to see if the lights flicker when everything is turned on. If a breaker trips when another device is switched on, the circuit may be overloaded. Short circuits can result in sparks, electrical shocks, and house fires. It’s important to address power supply issues by measuring the power consumption of older appliances. Consider upgrading your dishwasher, stove, and dryer to get the benefits that come with greater energy efficiency. If the new appliances don’t resolve the issue, we can increase the home’s amperage to meet your family’s electrical demands.
Problems With Everyday OperationsIf your home’s furnace short cycles or the fan blows constantly, there may be a problem with one of the system’s electrical components. Furthermore, if the furnace won’t respond after the thermostat is adjusted, it may be necessary to redo the wiring between the two. To keep these electrical issues from affecting your family’s winter comfort, contact our team.
Non-Functional OutletsMost people don’t give a dead outlet a second thought, but it’s important to have these problems assessed by a professional. Outlet failure is often caused by the overheating of electrical circuits, which can, in turn, lead to house fires. Protect your home and family by scheduling a wiring assessment and repair project.
Storm-Related Power Outages and Electrical DamagePower failures are quite common during winter storms. If high winds, sleet, or snowfall damages the power lines running to your home, call the electric company to ensure that those lines are safe—then call us to reconnect them to your home. Don’t try to do the job yourself; contact us for more information and fast, efficient service.
Lightning StrikesWith winter storms comes the risk of lightning strikes. While these events can occur year-round, they’re especially troublesome when cold fronts and warm fronts meet over Kansas. Lightning strikes can damage electronics, bring power outages, and ruin your home’s wiring. Consider installing a whole-home generator to prevent surprise outages on cold and stormy winter days.
Static ElectricityLow indoor humidity makes static electricity a common winter problem. While those minor, zinging shocks may be annoying, static electricity can become downright dangerous when flammable materials are nearby. Humidifier use will minimize static electricity, preventing shocks and reducing your home’s fire risk.
Burned-Out BulbsLight bulbs that burn out quickly are another indication of electrical problems. While the bulb itself may be to blame, it’s more likely that the power company delivers more power than the bulb can handle. Replacing your light bulbs with those that can accommodate higher voltages may resolve these issues, but if it doesn’t, give us a call.
Buzzing Sounds and Strange OdorsIf your home has electrical issues, you may hear or smell them before seeing them. If there’s a burning smell coming from an outlet, call us right away. Appliances and outlets that work normally should make almost no noise, but those with issues may make buzzing or popping sounds. If this is the case, get professional help right away.
Space Heater UsageResearch shows that many deadly wintertime house fires are caused by overheated and unattended space heaters. Because families in Pratt are more likely to rely on space heaters during the winter, it’s important for them to remember that these appliances draw a lot of power. If you’re using a space heater, be sure to set aside an outlet so there’s less risk of fire and electrical damage. And, if you’re not using them, leave these heaters unplugged.
Tips on Staying Safe This WinterBy following these easy steps, you can prevent injuries and avoid many of the common electrical issues mentioned above.
- Schedule an electrical inspection, which is a great way to reduce the risk of power outages and other problems.
- Use generators carefully—while having a backup generator is a good idea, it’s best to consult an electrician so you can learn how to use it correctly and safely.
- Upgrade your wiring with a heavy-up, which is an increase in the amperage coming into the home.
- Do not overload power strips with lights and appliances, as these strips can easily trip circuit breakers and start house fires.