If you’ve ever spent a winter in Colorado, you know that it is going to get very cold very unpredictably. Do you know if your home’s electrical system, and components are ready for the upcoming winter? Do you know what to look out for in the winter when it comes to electrical safety? These are important questions and things to keep in mind for the upcoming months, and we are here to help you figure it out.
The cold winter months cause us to use more electricity than during the rest of the year, therefore you want to pay special attention to the following electrical tips for winter.
The first thing to note is all the extra things we plug in during the winter, such as electrical blankets, space heaters, and lights. These things are great and fine to use, however make sure you use them properly.
A space heater is a great idea for saving money on heating, and does a great job at heating a single room. However, there are important safety features that you need to keep in mind when you plug them in.
- When purchasing a space heater, you want to make sure that you are getting one that will fit your needs. Are you looking for a personal heater for yourself? Or do you need one to heat an entire room? Space heaters come in all shapes and sizes, buying one too small and expecting it to over work to heat an area can be dangerous.
- Buy a space heater with tip-over, and overheat protection. This will ensure that if it is ever knocked over, it will shut off immediately.
- To safely use a space heater, never plug it into a power strip or extension cord. Use a dedicated circuit only.
- Keep your space heater at least 3 feet away from any combustible materials, such as drapes, bedspreads, or furniture.
- Don’t use a space heater in wet or damps places, and never touch the space heater if you are wet.
- Monitor the amount of time you keep the heater on. Never leave it on overnight or when you are not home. Space heaters draw a lot of current and can potentially overheat.
Another big electrical safety concern during the winter is burnt out outlets. This is a common issue in older homes, or if you have overloaded a circuit. Because we use more electrical devices in winter than normal, you must take a second to inspect the health of the electrical outlets in your home. Take a walk around your home and look at all the outlets. If you notice any brown dust, corrosion, or burn marks, this is a red flag. Do not use these outlets. You will need to call in a professional like The WireNut to come take care of this safety hazard for you.
If you’ve had the electrical in your home updated or re-done recently you are most likely not going to have bad outlets. If you have older electrical systems, be mindful. Take a second to think about how many things are plugged in at once. Ask yourself: are they appliances or items that draw a lot of current. Space heaters are a big one, but so are electrical blankets and things of the sort. Be smart and don’t overload your home. If you are unsure if you are “overloading” your home, call a professional. Electrical concerns are serious and should never be taken lightly if you have concerns have someone come look at your outlets and access the overall health of your home’s electrical.