Five Tips for Making Sure Your Home Electrical System is Ready for Winter

Ready or not, winter will be here soon in South Central Texas. With the change in seasons comes some unique electrical demands. The following five tips from GVEC Electrician services are suggested to help you avoid the electrical winter blues.

1. Properly Label Your Circuit Breaker

If an unexpected electrical problem arises in your home, it’s important to have your circuit breakers properly labeled to help you better understand what caused the problem and address it as quickly as possible. If your breaker box is located outside, this is especially important, since the short days could make it exceptionally difficult to navigate your way around a mislabeled or unlabeled electrical panel.

2. Understand Your System’s Limits

Hanging festive, multi-colored light displays can be a great way to brighten your home for the holidays. Remember, though, that these lights can draw significant amounts of power. If you have any doubt whether the display you’re planning is too much for your home electrical system, we strongly suggest consulting a professional, fully licensed electrician like those available from GVEC. We can help you better understand if the number of lights and size of the display you’re planning is well-suited for your home electrical system. Just give us a call.

3. Use Space Heaters Sparingly

Sometimes, you may need a little extra heat in certain rooms of your home. If you use a space heater, it’s important to consider the limits of each room’s electrical supply. For example, it’s not unusual for a normal-sized space heater to draw a considerable portion of the available power from an average circuit’s capacity. This is why it’s important not to run a space heater in an unoccupied room, not to run more than one space heater on a single circuit and to use them as sparingly as possible. Pushing your home’s electrical grid past its limitations through the overuse or misuse of space heaters can lead to overloaded circuits, unexpectedly high electrical bills and even fires.

4. Remind Family Members About Downed Power Lines

Ice storms, extreme winds and other winter weather can sometimes lead to downed power lines. At GVEC, we encourage you to talk to your family about the dangers of downed power lines and how to avoid them if encountered while out on the road. For information about what to do if your vehicle comes in contact with an electric pole, visit our blog on the topic at gvec.org.

5. Be Power-Outage Ready

Even if you don’t personally encounter downed power lines, you may still experience one of their most common effects: a power outage. Of course, power outages can be caused by other factors, too, with the weather being the most common. Whatever the cause of the outage, we highly recommend against getting caught unprepared by one—especially on a cold winter evening. This is why we recommend having an emergency plan in place, including an “outage kit” supplied with flashlights and extra batteries, lanterns, or other sources of non-electrical light. The key is having ready access to an easy, dependable light source. You’ll want to make sure everyone in the home knows where your outage kit is located, too, so there’s no fumbling around in the dark if the lights unexpectedly go out. You’ll need other items in your kit, as well, depending on your family’s needs, including medications, coats, blankets and/or sleeping bags, a battery-powered radio, snacks, water, a manual can opener, first aid supplies and more. For more information on preparing for power outages, visit our storm safety page at gvec.org.

GVEC Electrician Services: There for You in a Pinch

Throughout the year, GVEC Electrician services is here to help take care of your electrical needs. From lighting installation to electrical inspections, rewiring jobs, whole-home surge protection, solar panel and home battery installation, and more, we offer a range of electrical work for home and small business. Our experienced team of friendly, fully licensed professional electricians gets the job done right, keeping you fully apprised of the work and answering all your questions along the way. For more information on preparing your home for the winter or on any other electrical job, contact us at 888.590.7773.