Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter
The season of chilly air, cozy nights and winter wonders has arrived, and snow is already on the ground in some parts of the nation. In preparation for colder weather, many homeowners have taken care to ensure that their heating system is in top shape and that their plumbing is properly protected from freezing temperatures. When it comes to preparing for winter weather, many people overlook the importance of protecting their electrical system from damage. In order to avoid costly repairs and ensure a steady flow of power to the home, there are a number of steps that should be part of every homeowner’s cold season checklist. Ryan Gath Electric is the trusted local experts to help in Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter.
Test/Replace Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
These devices serve an essential, yet often undervalued role in keeping your family safe and secure. During cold weather preparations, be sure to check that each detector and alarm is functioning properly, and that fresh batteries are installed. Homeowners who have had the same detectors in place for many years may want to consider updating them with newer and more advanced devices. It should go without saying that the cost of replacing old smoke and carbon monoxide detectors pales in comparison to the cost of a fire or the emotional toll of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Install Or Update Exterior Security Lighting
There are a number of excellent exterior lighting options currently on the market, many of which offer multiple features. Homeowners should evaluate their outdoor lighting, and determine if additional or updating lighting would bring value to the home. In addition to improving a home’s security, exterior lighting can make it far easier to unload groceries, care for pets or get the kids settled into the car after dark. Many options are motion-activated, and some even offer high tech features such as a security camera that can be accessed remotely.
Install A Generator Or Tune-Up An Existing Unit
In many parts of the country, having a back-up generator is a wise choice during the winter months. If the power fails, a generator can ensure that the home remains warm and lit until service is restored. That can make the difference between a livable home and having to find alternate shelter. For those who already have a generator in place, an annual tune-up is a great way to make sure that the unit is in good repair and ready to be called into service if the need should arise. For those who have been considering adding a generator, there are a number of different options available at a wide range of price points. Anyone who has sustained a prolonged loss of power can attest to the benefits of having a generator within the home.
Test Electrical Outlets & GFCIs
Any winter preparation checklist should include a test of all of the home’s power outlets. This is a fast and easy task with the use of a multimeter (which is an inexpensive device that will last for many years.) The multimeter will not only check to make sure that an outlet is getting sufficient power, it can also let the homeowner know if the wires are properly connected, and if the outlet is safely grounded. Ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) are special outlets that are designed to automatically shut off when an electrical fault is detected. However, they wear out over time, and will need to be replaced. A special device is used to test older GFCIs, and those manufactured after 2006 will simply stop working once the circuitry fails. Replacing a worn out outlet is a simple and inexpensive home repair project.
Replace Light Bulbs With Compact Fluorescent Lights
Updating your home’s lighting can lead to lower power bills and a greener lifestyle. One of the best ways to improve your home’s energy use is to replace traditional light bulbs with CFLs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs produce light differently than incandescent bulbs, and require approximately 70 percent less energy. That can rack up significant savings over the course of a year, especially when most of your home’s light fixtures have been switched to CFLs.
Conserve Energy Throughout Your Home
As the weather chills, conduct an annual check of your home’s energy efficiency. Look for areas where improvements can be made, and be aware of “phantom load,” which is a term used to describe power that flows to unused appliances or electronics. Many people are surprised to learn that power is continuously consumed by many devices, even when they are not turned on or in use. Simply shutting off the power can save hundreds of dollars each year. Be sure to unplug appliances that are not currently in use, and consider using a power strip to supply current to multiple devices, such as a television, gaming console, and sound system. That makes it easy to shut off power to those devices with one simple switch, rather than having to unplug each cord.
Choose Ryan Gath Electric When Preparing Your Home’s Electrical System For The Winter
Here at Ryan Gath Electric, we want to make sure that your electrical system and the rest of your home stay safe throughout the winter months. When you call us for electrical system maintenance this season, we will work with you every step of the way to get your home’s electrical system ready for the cold weather. So don’t let your power go out in the middle of a blizzard – Call Ryan Gath Electric today!