Brrrr! There’s a chill in the air here in Southern Idaho, and that means fall and winter are upon us. For homeowners, this time of year typically means winterizing their abodes. Blowing out sprinklers, performing roof checks, and making sure the home is still well-insulated all come to the mind of most homeowners, but what may not be is winterizing your electrical system. Here’s a checklist of things to keep your electricity cold weather ready!
Double Check Your Sockets & Switches
- Make sure your home has the proper panels, sockets, and switches installed. Also, make sure that no electrical covers are open, cracked, or unscrewed. Replace any outlets that are broken or malfunctioning. If you’re not comfortable determining this on your own, let a licensed electrician take a look.
Teach Your Family How the Breaker Works
- Be sure you and your family members know where the main electrical panel is located and how to use it if necessary. Be sure to make sure it’s easy to get to in the case of emergency, and that the switches and circuits labeled properly and are in working order. (Remember: sometimes, even if everything is working properly, wacky winter weather can sometimes trip switches. This isn’t a big deal; you’ll just have to manually switch it back.)
Watch For Snow
- Winter means snow, and snow melts, sometimes leading to water damage that can affect your home’s electrical wiring, paneling, and sockets. Water and electricity are a bad combination! Check around your home for any potential danger zones where leaks could get in and be sure to check your home periodically during the season to nip problems in the bud.
Trim the Trees
- Take care of any overgrown tree branches on your property, especially if they’re close to or touching a power line. Like water, this can be a danger zone in the event of a big winter storm.
Don’t Overload Your Plugs
- Check the outlets around your home to make sure they’re not overloaded. (This is a good idea for every season!) Although convenient, many multi-socket plug-ins that allow you to plug in several electronic devices at a time may lack surge protectors and can be major fire hazards. Seek the guidance of a licensed electrician on where to purchase certified power bars with surge protectors.
Unplug if Unused
- If you’re going home for the holidays, make sure to unplug any electrical appliances and devices that don’t need to be plugged in all the time. The refrigerator, for example, is really one of the only appliances that needs to stay plugged in. This prevents the majority of potential electrical hazards that could happen when you’re away.
- Finally, everyone knows power costs tend to go up in the winter. To save a bit on your electricity bill, set a reminder on your phone to unplug any unnecessary appliances before going to bed. Like the previous tip, this will help reduce a chance of an electrical fire but will also save you a bit of money when that next bill rolls around – money you can use on an extra Christmas gift for that special someone!
We hope this guide helps you ensure your home’s electricity is winter-ready this year and every year!