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Electrical system maintenance is crucial. In the winter months, there is an uptick in electricity use. People use electricity to power their daily electronics, holiday decorations, and additional heaters. 

You’ve seen the homes decked out in holiday decorations. These displays are fun for everyone, but they are also a cause for concern with potential electrical issues. It is estimated that the U.S. uses 3.5 billion kWh each December. 

To avoid damage, know the problems to look out for and how to prevent them. Continue reading for our guide on how to monitor your electronics in the winter season.

Out-Of-Date Electronics

Out-of-date electronics are more likely to malfunction. Seasonal items are especially prone to this because they sit in storage for most of the year. Then, when they come out for their yearly appearance, you plug them in without a second thought. 

However, when they sit unused for a while, they are susceptible to damage even if you only use them sparingly. Be sure to do a thorough check of all seasonal electronics before you use them. 

If any of your heating appliances are old,  you should consider replacing them. 

Insufficient Power & Tripped Breakers

Close-up of somebody flipping a switch in a white circuit breaker

There is more demand for heating systems in the winter as it is. The addition of holiday decor puts even more stress on your circuit breaker. Flickering lights are a sign that your power usage is too much for your breaker.

A circuit breaker’s main function is to interrupt current flow to protect equipment and lower the risk of an electrical fire. Breakers come in varying sizes and can be reset if they trip or overload. 

If you think you need a circuit breaker with a larger capacity, contact an electrician for help. Be sure to inspect the consumption level of older appliances. You may need to replace them with more energy-efficient appliances if needed. 

Static Electricity

Dry air is a large conductor of static electricity in a home. Static electricity occurs when there is an imbalance of electric charges within or between varying materials. It requires a separation of positive and negative particles. 

Static electricity becomes dangerous and creates a fire hazard if it occurs between two objects where one is a flammable source. 

One solution to fighting static electricity hazards in your home is to install a humidifier. You can mitigate static electricity will occur by keeping the air moist. 

Storm Damage & Power Outages

Storm damage and power outages are common in the winter due to snow and ice. The primary safety issue in this scenario is inadequate heating for your home in cold weather. 

If the power outage is caused by a ripped line, there is no way for you to fix it. One way to keep your home safe in these instances is to have a generator on hand. Contact an electrician for help in purchasing a generator. 

Electrical Fires & Surges 

Overhead shot of a dirty power strip that has caught fire

Electrical fires account for about 24,000 instances of a home fire each year. There are a few things that often cause electrical fires. 

  • A frayed wire that causes a spark then an electrical fire
  • Old electronics with compromised electronic quality 
  • Too much plugged into an extension cord or surge protector 
  • Absence of circuit breaker 

The best way to protect your home from this hazard is to consult an electrician and do improvements as necessary. You can also consider adding more outlets to your home to decrease the reliance on extension cords.

Enjoy a Safe Winter with U.S. Electric 

The first step to safety in the winter is to keep your home electrical systems updated and intact.

With the help of U.S. Electric, you can keep your home electrical problem-free and safe this winter season. With over 30 years of dependable electrical services and our dedication to customer service, satisfaction is guaranteed!

Schedule a safety evaluation with us today!